The Beaver

We are living temporarily in this beautiful house at the edge of a lake. I have loved watching the water in all its moods: roiled with whitecaps in a storm, placidly mirroring a blue sky, or locked in ice. Even more I have enjoyed watching the wildlife. Insects and minnows dimpling the surface. Mergansers, ducks, and loons. A snow goose on the lawn. A great blue heron fishing in the shallows. A coyote crossing the thin ice at dawn.

For the past few days I have watched a beaver early every morning. I have been told that if I see a beaver, I should call the neighbor, who will shoot it. I am not sure why. I understand we can’t have beavers on the streams due to flooding. I don’t know what problem beavers pose to this lake.

I have enjoyed watching the beaver swimming strongly by the house, his small brown head at the surface a wedge creating ripples flowing behind him like a cape. Two days ago he swam past in the other direction, towing a young poplar sapling still with leaves.

I haven’t called anyone.

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3 Responses to The Beaver

  1. Sue says:

    We have lived with beaver here at our cabin since retiring here 2.5 years ago. They clog the culverts with their mud and sticks which is a hazard to our driveway which is our precious lifeline to the outside world. My husband faithfully cleared away their debris and early in the spring decided he had enough and bought a rifle while I was out of town. He got a permit from the DEC and sat a chair next to the culvert one night with the hope of getting rid of them. Some how in the process of trying ( I don’t think he even fired the rifle in an attempt to shoot one) he decided to attached a trail cam to the grate in front of the culvert. Every time the beaver would swim toward it the camera would flash which caused the beaver to swim away. So, my brilliant husband got a battery powered motion light and attached it to the grate. Every time the beaver comes close it lights up and they swim away–problem solved!

  2. adkmilkmaid says:

    That is indeed brilliant, Sue! Congrats!

  3. Missy says:

    Ohh, I like the end of that story better than the one I thought was coming ;).
    I’ve just discovered a stray male cat wandering our neighbourhood. It’s friendly enough, it came up for a pat yesterday. Unfortunately, it also took a bunch of my young chicks last autumn, it sprays everywhere and I’m pretty sure it’s the one causing a lot of dogs to bark at night. I’m in two minds about what to do. If I call the ranger he’ll no doubt be euthanised after the mandatory holding period, thus ending some neighbourhood problems, but on the other hand, it seems harsh to end his happy life of roaming free…
    Sometimes animals stories make me sad.

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