So this morning I crept down to the dam when it was still so dark I thought my eyes were closed and saw a bumpy unfinished but surprising secondary dam, beyond which a ray of lamplight flickered in the water. The light appeared to split and moved closer, and then a lumpy shadow appeared on the other side of the dam. Could it be? I held my breath.
Suddenly a beaver lump was crawling OVER the dam on the left, not at all surprised to see me, paddling around in the pond before swimming under the bridge and on up to the primary. He did no work at all on the dam-in-progress and I thought I recognized him as one of the ‘useless bookends’ from our 2010 kits. For a half hour I chatted happily with Moses who was also there, earlier that morning filming three otters up by the primary dam.
After he left, a second beam of light split down stream, revealing a moving 2nd shadow and a llittler beaver emerged over the dam on the opposite side from where the first one crossed. This looked too big for Jr. but could have been Reed or mom. It swam about a dedicated bit, diving for mud and nosing it into place here and there before scrambling up onto a large log for a full profile shot out of the water. It appeared to be staying in the bank lodge under the bridge and did not return to the primary. Considering I have not seen a beaver since November 28th, I was very, very happy. Hence the Sousa.
This deserves a celebration. How about a beaver crossword puzzle sent to me yesterday by Bruce Thompson who teaches ecology in Wyoming for EcoTRACS. I apparently have the wrong skill set for crosswords, because I’m told Mike Callahan already zipped through this in a trifle. Bruce is promising the winning entry gets:
a mammal Tracks and mammal Scat of North American bandanna ensemble (including beaver specimens, of course) to the most correctly submitted puzzle-solver by March 31st.
Tempting, eh? That means the winner gets his or her own beaver poop. Sweet. Of course a real friend would donate it to the silent auction, right?