Archive for the ‘Dispersal’ Category

Insert stuck beaver joke here

Posted by heidi08 On April - 27 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

What I want to know is Who decides these things? What all-powerful overseeing force determines how every reporter is going to talk about beavers in every region and every country with the flick of a finger? Is there some giant war room where multiple screens determine the headlines on every news source in the hemisphere? I guess it could be something as simple as a press release, but maybe it’s a whole underground beaver cabal string-puller we don’t even suspect. Case in point:

Fat Beaver Stuck In Hamilton Fence Rescued By Animal Services Officer

This chunky national symbol has Hamilton Animal Services to thank for seeing him through to Canada’s 150th birthday.

The service responded to a call on Tuesday reporting a beaver wedged in a wrought iron fence. In their news release, the agency said they suspected the animal tumbled part-way through, but then found itself unable to wriggle its winter-heavy posterior between the bars.

Animal services officer Sarah Mombourquette freed the portly beast with the help of fast thinking and a common household ingredient – a little bit soap slicked him up enough to slip the rest of the way through

While beavers don’t hibernate, this adult male was clearly carrying a bit of extra weight after a less-active winter season. Slightly above-average temperatures across southern Ontario this past winter may have helped him along in packing on the pounds; the winter of 2015/2016 saw an epidemic of fat squirrelsthanks to milder weather giving them more access than usual to food through the winter months.

After the rescue, animal services transferred the beaver to Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge in Jarvis, where he’ll spend some time recovering from his injuries before being rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

“Conservation efforts have led to a healthy beaver population and in honour of Canada 150, Hamilton Animal Services is thrilled to give this beaver a happy ending,” said Paoila Pianegonda, the city’s Manager of Animal Services. “We believe that no beaver should be left behind.”

Even if his behind is what got him in trouble in the first place.

Ha ha ha! Get it? Because he’s a pudgy beaver! Right? We all know beavers are skinny and fluffy little rabbit sized rodents with long tails. Because the warm winter meant that the beaver was awake and eating all winter. Like YOU you lazy couch potato. Because under normal conditions a beaver would easily pass through a wrought iron fence.


First of all, I hate to break it to you, and forgive me for interrupting your little castor fat-shaming session, that isn’t a fat beaver. It’s a grown up beaver. Maybe not even grown up. Maybe a disperser. You forgot how big an adult beaver is because we killed them all. Second of all, beavers get THINNER in the winter not fatter. The winter freeze means they have to live off the food they stored, so as the winter drags on the is less and less to eat. Third of all, even if there was a very, very warm winter and the lucky beaver could go get fresh food all the time because the water was never frozen,  there is still no reason he would put on more weight in the winter because he would be doing the same things he normally did.

Instead, of accusing that beaver of sloth, I wonder, if you could for a moment, just remember back to the days of your childhood where you were certain that your head would easily fit through the stair banister railing, or your brother’s headboard, or the fence slats in the garden. Do you remember what a shock it was to find that not only could you not get through, which you had been certain you could do,  you could even not get back out? Your friend Whitey tried to pull you out and failed, then your brother and finally your dad. Do you remember how lonely and cold it got waiting for the fire department to come and set you free?

As horrific. terrifying and humiliating that fateful day was, aren’t you glad there wasn’t an international headline the next morning saying it happened because of your pudgy head?

With me it was my right thumb. And a very inviting and mysterious hole inside the handlebar of my highchair where the tray table usually snapped in. We didn’t have enough chairs at for our big (Catholic) family for me to sit on one at the table for a while, so I stuck with the highchair longer than most. I remember my mother telling me, when I poked that inviting opening curiously, “Don’t put your finger in there!” Ah, whose life wouldn’t have been different if they had listened to that advice?

So obviously I never got my thumb stuck in the whole one night after a particularly unappetizing dinner. And I never had to tell my parents the awful truth after all the plates were cleared away. And my father didn’t have to try vasoline and finally ice to ease it out. What I can assure you, is that my 2 year old thumb was not pudgy from winter, and I certainly wasn’t happy about those long hours I waited for the swelling to go down so I could get it back.

Something tells me that beaver wasn’t either.

Children's paradeOn to wiser things. (And pretty much anything is.)

Believe it or not, the bagpipe player who helps out at the festival found this in his Canadian nature news feed and shared it with me. Small, small world. This is the Michel LeClare workshop we talked about earlier.




Beaver Wranglers!

Posted by heidi08 On April - 18 - 2017Comments Off on Beaver Wranglers!

Sometimes life gives you little funny gifts that you don’t really deserve or expect. Yesterday’s call-in show about the horrible beaver-eatin’ program was vastly superior to the original. Owing in large part to the host Laura Knoy and to the first caller who said her beaver pond was essential fire protection for her home. Ahhh my hero. Art Wolinsky called in also and is wonderful of course. This is worth listening to if you have time. Skip Lisle does an excellent job of sounding way more reasonable than everyone else, and even the trapper isn’t horrific. I edited out the commercials and it’s a great listen.

Podcast host Sam Evans-Smith suddenly sounds soooo much more reasonable about beavers, and even wants some on his property. (Art thinks our letters over the weekend may have done some good, but who knows?) My favorite part is where Sam corners the fish and wildlife guy about how often flow devices fail and the man is left chattering nonsense about water depth admitting he wasn’t even talking about that. Good times.

And then, in compensation for all our suffering, the benevolent universe gave us a little present in the form of a beaver mystery. It happened, (Of all places) in Saskatchewan Canada where  they had the horrific beaver kill-derby last year. I’m not surprised. Apparently even the cattle are scared of beavers up there.wrangler

Sask. ranchers stunned as beaver herds 150 cattle

Saskatchewan rancher Adrienne Ivey may have heard of a beaver, but until now, had never seen a beaver herd. Cattle, that is.

On Friday, Ivey and her husband were surprised to see 150 of their heifers crowded together in one of their pastures. Curious about the strange behaviour, they investigated further, to find the herd of cattle following a beaver that had wandered along.

“He was out and about, I think looking for a new place to build a beaver lodge, and they were following him,” Ivey said. “There was about a three-foot space around him. They didn’t want to get closer than that.”

According to Ivey, heifers, young cows that haven’t had a calf before, are more inquisitive than the average bovine, which may have led to the cows following the beaver.

“They’re a curious bunch,” she said. “They’re kind of like teenagers. And I think they were following this thing around because they couldn’t figure out what the heck it was.”

Ivey thought the odd event was even more notable considering the beaver is Canada’s national symbol.”We just thought this was so funny and so Canadian,” she said. “A Canadian beaver leading around a bunch of Canadian cattle just makes it even more funny.”

This is the kind of story that would be SO MUCH BETTER with video. But never fear, because I have a treasure that is going to make all of your pain and suffering fade away. Don’t say I never did anything for you. Behold the beaver wrangler!

I think these cows read that Belarus disperser story and are all terrified of him!

I  know folks might worry, but I’m just going to assume that the cows stayed this well, cowed as long as it took for the beaver to get where he was going because we’re talking about Saskatchewan and you know if they suddenly trampled him to death the ranchers would be way too excited and posting that video everywhere online. Mostly I just love this video because it soundly demonstrates how very much smarter beavers are than cows. You can’t exactly say they look up to him.

Maybe it’s the calendar but I’m suddenly reminded me of this favorite moment from the Life of Brian.

These are a few of my favorite beaver things!

Posted by heidi08 On April - 13 - 20171 COMMENT

Homeowners, Salt Lake County battle over beaver dams

I heard from Kelly yesterday that they had received help from a local non-profit to access the media and knew this was coming. My my my this is a splendid report, that emphasizes the whole ‘home as castle’ argument that appeals to the manly provider heartstrings. Never mind the California saving habitat nancy-boy argument. If you haven’t watched it you should, and if you want to help their efforts you can donate and/or sign the petition here:

“We’re always watching ducks and geese come in for takeoffs and landings on the creek,” McAdams said. “It’s a beautiful thing to see and experience.”

“Striking the balance is the real challenge here,” Graham said. “We’ve had discussions. There are options. Beaver dams are not an option because they’re naturally made, they’re not secure, but there are options to create the same type of effects (behind McAdams and his neighbor’s houses).”


Two homeowners are in a fight with Salt Lake County to keep the beaver dams behind their properties that have contributed to a rich wetland environment full of ducks, geese, birds, muskrats and other wildlife. (KSL TV)

McAdams said prior to the Dec. 24 notice, the county had made separate offers to deliver $500 and then $5,000 worth of rock to install around the creek, but he believes the delivery and installation would cause more harm to his property along with the wetland.

“To destroy nature like that with total disregard, it just frustrates me to no end,” McAdams said.

He said he could face fines amounting to roughly $750 per month if he does not agree to have the dams removed.

“(Salt Lake County) Flood Control intends to drain a jurisdictional wetland and displace all this wildlife when there are easy alternatives that can be performed on dams and downstream debris mitigation,” McAdams said.

“If I didn’t feel strongly, I would have given up a long time ago,” McAdams said. “I feel very strongly about this.”

Ahh Kelly, we know JUST how you feel. Way to go! You and Erin are fighting the good fight. The one that matters. And while you do it you are teaching your entire community why beaver dams matter. You have all our support, and anything else you need we’ll try and send your way!

Meanwhile I never tire of stories about brave dispersers or an opportunity to re-post THIS picture.

Ontario highway closed as wandering beaver refuses to leave

CAMBRIDGE, Ont. – A wandering beaver shut down part of a highway in southern Ontario on Wednesday as police worked to get the animal back to its natural habitat.

Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says the beaver was spotted sitting on a storm drain against a concrete dividing barrier on Highway 7/8 in Cambridge, Ont.

Schmidt says officers blocked part of the highway and tried to shoo the animal across the road to the ditch. But he says the beaver was having nothing of it and refused to move from the left side of the highway.

He says police had an officer stay with the beaver to ensure it was OK and called in wildlife control. Schmidt says wildlife control was able to capture the beaver and bring him back home.

“No one got hurt, and everybody’s happy,” Schmidt said.

 And people wonder why everyone says Canadians are so nice. I’m not sure there’s anywhere else they’d close a highway for a beaver. (Although if I were emperor they ALL would). You know that beaver wasn’t impressed I’m sure. He didn’t want to go back on that side of the road. “That’s where I came from! If I go back home now they’ll all laugh at me!”mountie w kit