Beaver Journal and Essays

In 2008, Inspired by Dorothy Richards, a woman who spent many decades observing a beaver colony in the Adirondacks, I decided I would get to know the beavers who occupied the wild stream valley behind my home. Beavers are perfect subjects for such observations, since one always knows where (approximately) and when (at dusk) to find them. What's more, beaver ponds are a hub of life for the entire forest, so there is never a dull moment when sitting on the shore of a beaver pond.

I have chronicled many highlights of this experience in columns that I write for the Brattleboro Reformer. On this page you will find links to the columns as well as photos, videos, and journal entries. They appear chronologically, earliest to most recent.
I first visited Popple's Pond in September of 2007, and took this photo in the early morning. This would be the site of my beaver adventures the next spring.

May 2008: Evenings with Henry in which I begin my beaver project and get to know a goose.

June 2008: Familiarity Breeds Content in which I make the acquaintance of the beavers. 

July 2008: It's a Jungle out There in which gray treefrogs, fireflies, and bats appear.

September 2008: Ducky in which a baby beaver is brought to meet me.

October 2008: The Moose that Stole my Bicycle Helmet in which I track a thief.

December 2008: Ice in which the beavers' world is transformed and I become an honorary rodent.

March 2009: Back to the Beavers in which I return to visit the beavers at Surprise Pond during an early thaw and discover how they have fared.

May 2009: How to Meet a Moose in which I meet a lonely moose and we enjoy an evening together.

June 2009: Another Moose Meeting in which I meet a young moose and we forge a bond.

July 2009: My Pal, Terrible Jack in which I tell the rest of the story of my friend the moose.

December 2009: Ice Storm in which ice transforms the world and tests the winter adaptations of trees. 

May 2010: Beavers in the Hood in which I find another beaver colony to study and a pond is reclaimed. 

June 2010: Lake Dismal in June in which Snowberry learns to find apples and I find out what a beaver feels like. 

July 2010: What do you Know? in which beavers and jumping mice demonstrate skill at locating food.

September 2010: Ducky Departs in which two-year-old Ducky sets out into the big, wild world.

October 2010: Willow and the Dewberries in which new kits arrive and Willow expresses her maternal devotion.

December 2010: High Water in which a wealth of wet initiates new endeavors, with beavers on the move.

April 2011: Sources and Sinks in which I find Ducky and Growler at last!

June 2011: Snowberry and the Beaver Deceiver in which I ponder the fate of dispersing beavers and introduce their ally, Skip Lisle.

August 2011: Spontaneous Generation and other dog day occurrences in which I raise salamanders from dust, and find that beavers do not care for possums. 

September 2011: Wild Water in which Tropical Storm Irene ravages the valley and we learn how the beavers fared.

May 20012: Space in which the beavers teach about the concept of carrying capacity.

August 2012: Hideaway Pond in which I find Ducky and Growler and their first kit.

December 2012: Ducky Diary in which I visit Ducky and Growler on a misty November night.

January 2012: Beavers of the Balsams in which I pay a visit to the beavers on a cold, sparkling night.

January 2014: The Nightclub Principle in which I report on the status of beavers, porcupines, and ponder principles.

February 2015: Seafaring in which I discover beavers on an island in the ocean and ponder seafaring terrestrial mammals. 

May 2015: Waxing and Waning in which Willow survives another winter and we enjoy the emerging spring.

December 2015: Beaver Moon in which we visit Willow during the November full moon to find out how she fares heading into another winter.

No comments:

Post a Comment