Tuesday, March 15, 2016

An Old Friend Found, March 7

Following the discovery made in the previous post—hungry beavers trying to chew their way our of their pond—I returned with a camp saw at dusk this evening. I dragged a couple of beech and striped maple saplings over to the hole in the ice, and set up just below the dam to await the arrival of the residents.

I decide, as I watch this beaver, that she is a young one, too small to be one of my familiars— the seven year old Snowberry, six year old Dewberry, or five year old Sundew. I have not seen any of these beavers since they dispersed from their natal colony.

When I am too chilled to stay longer, I pack up my things and climb up the dam to get my saw. When I look over the dam, I see the beaver sitting calmly on the other side eating an apple, not alarmed by my proximity in the least! I have always been a bad judge of beaver sizes. I unpack the rodent nuggets and place them on the dam next to me. This beaver finished her apple and came right over to me and began vacuuming up the nuggets. Snowberry never liked nuggets. This beaver must be either Dewberry or Sundew. I couldn't be happier than to have this assurance that Willow's genes are still in play in this wild place, and to be reunited with a member of my beaver family!
Beaver on the other side of the dam. Note tunnel dug/chewed through dam.

I doubt that I will ever know which of the beavers this one is, but no wild beaver would be this comfortable with me, regardless of how hungry, so I can pretty safely say it is one of the Dews.

With warm weather forecast for the rest of the week, and my deliveries of apples, nuggets, and saplings, this beaver has gone from rags to riches overnight! I wonder if beavers appreciate such swings of fortune?

Dew eats nuggets!

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