Archive for the ‘Environmental’ Category

Animal Attraction

Posted by heidi08 On September - 26 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

Another Monday has come with no kits yet to celebrate. I thought I’d share the video that raised my hopes. This was shot by Moses Silva the night of June 11 this year. The female emerges from a bank hole, is followed by the male and then they mate. I just noticed the vocalizations in this so turn your sound WAY UP if you want to be amazed with me. I think the female calls to him first, sounding almost like a whale, and when he follows you hear another grunting  (I think) male voice while they mate. It’s interesting to me because of that female invitation, which I don’t think has ever been written about. The sound occurs about 2 seconds in. I showed it to Bernie Krause when I heard it and he was interested, but said there was too much ‘ambient noise’ to really focus on.

Sheesh! It’s Martinez!

Well, what do you think? Is that a noise mom’s making at the beginning or not? And did that mating do its job or not? In all my years of filming and watching beavers I’ve never heard them blow bubbles until this film, and it seems like they both do. Maybe its a mating thing?

Beaver gestation is supposed to be around 107 days. So counting from the 12th of June her due date would be tonight, September 26. And here’s how weirdly synced am I, I didn’t know for sure her date until I just counted out the days with a calendar. That sure explains why she still looked huge in that last video. We don’t usually see the kits for the first three or four weeks, so when I get back from vacation they should be visible! Keep an eye out for me will you?

Assuming they exist.

Now, here’s something special just in case that sexy beaver footage got you in the mood.

D. S. & Durga HYLNDS Free Trapper (2016)

Brooklyn-based artisan perfumers D.S. & Durga released a new fragrance composition under their newer sub-label HYLNDS (pronounced « Highlands »). It is called Free Trapper, a throwback scent to the era of frontier people and the fur trade that was a magnet for adventurers in search of riches in the wilds…

« Beaver trappers were the cowboys of early America. Renegade mountaineers of the Jacksonian era who cut trails through the wild in search of beaver pelts – prized by hatters, doctors, & perfumers. »

The result is what looks on paper to be a dark, aromatic and animalic scent featuring notes of dark cedar, snake root, synthetic beaver castor, and wild bergamot.

That’s right. Now YOU TOO can smell like a beaver. Or a trapper. Take your pick. (I guess it depends on if you’re a top or a bottom.) All those years when I wrote about the barely-latent sexual admiration modern society has for trappers, you thought I was exaggerating. HA! Here’s the proof. A fairly expensive perfume that reminds the nose of the fur trade. Knowing how important the smell of castoreum was to the success of beaver trapping, makes this particularly horrible. I’m thinking this would be my reaction to the perfume:

 

Beaver Central

Posted by heidi08 On September - 24 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

Yesterday numberI received an  email about beavers in New Jersey, and a distress call about beavers in Eugene Oregon. Coming a day after my beaver good wishes from New Hamshire, I can only conclude that Worth A Dam is the nation’s number one resource for beaver advocacy.

My email from Eugene included this video from Patricia and Greg McPherson concerned about the Island Lakes beavers in GoodPasture Island Oregon.

I put her in touch with Leonard Houston of the Beaver Advocacy Committee, Kaegen Scully-Englemeyer of the Welands Conservancy and Jacob Shockley of Beaver State Wildlife Solutions. I’m sure between the three of them those beavers will have a fighting chance. She wrote a nice thank you note that I thought I’d share to draw attention to a newish resource I put together while the beaver mania talk was still fresh in my mind. Look to your left and up on the screen for the link.

I watched your ‘Our Story”   ….VERY HEARTWARMING, FUNNY AND EDUCATIONAL…..KUDOS!  I’ve passed it on to city of Eugene, ODFW and others. That initial image of the beaver setting up shop in downtown….very risky, funny and ultimately—thanks to you——A VERY POSITIVE OUTCOME!

Thank you for what you do-  patricia

Good luck Patricia! Public interest  makes a huge difference in beavers lives and they are lucky to have yours!

Time for some adorable news from WildHeart Ranch in Oklahoma who didn’t even know about this story until I posted it on FB and tagged them.  It’s a shame beaver orphans are so dam adorable, maybe if they were hideous and terrifying the world would make fewer of them?

captureRescuers Wait For Sleepy Baby Beaver To Wake Up For His Breakfast

“Good morning,” Dan at Wild Heart Ranch, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in Claremore, Oklahoma, said in a Facebook video on Friday. “I promised everybody I would send a morning video.”

The star of the video is a very sleepy baby beaver named Rocky. And Dan is using the time while Rocky is still groggy to update all his fans.

“Here he is waking up for his morning breakfast,” Dan explained. “Beavers are kind of temperamental. Rocky doesn’t want to eat yet because he’s not fully awake.”

Not cute enough for you? Check your pulse. You may be dead. Can you hear the awww noises coming out of your mouth? Hmm, watch Annette feed the little sleepyhead just to be sure before we call the coroner. Any spare change you might want to send their way will be put to good use. Remember this is Oklahoma and teach folks to care for Nature is important.

Now for our own local interests here at home, Jon saw Mom and Dad again last night. She wasn’t nearly as snugly as the day before and barked at Dad wen he wanted to cuddle. Which any just-delivered or about-to-deliver mom can understand. Still she looks great and she’s OURS.

Another work of Art

Posted by heidi08 On September - 21 - 2016Comments Off on Another work of Art

A while ago I was contacted by ‘Voices of Wildlife’ in New Hampshire. They were having some beaver issues and wanted help educating the public. I told them that a fantastic supporter lived right near by and introduced them to Art Wolinsky. They arranged an education event at the public library last night. And Art stepped up to the job boldly. Not only did the retired engineer prepare a wonderful multimedia presentation at a moments notice, he also arranged to film it so it could be shown in other venues around the state.  Oh, and my FB friend who was there tells me his last line was ‘Happy Birthday, Heidi”. Which is honestly beyond touching.

capture

Description

A multimedia presentation, by Art Wolinsky and Voices of Wildlife in NH, about how to derive the benefits of beaver created habitat while eliminating conflict and negative impact.

When beavers began threatening the culverts at Art’s condo in 2009 he reached out to the experts who helped him and the other residents create solutions to live peacefully with the beavers. They ended up with a win-win for all involved.

Learn how this was achieved by attending this free and open to the public event. Contact voicesofwildlifeinnh@gmail.com with any questions.

Art is also putting his film on youtube and I can’t wait for the chance to share it with you! Just another example of beautiful Art work!

Now as it was my birthday yesterday I tried to only do the things I wanted and allowed myself to play with a very silly tool on my iPad that I had never really used  before. How fun is this?

Planting for tomorrow

Posted by heidi08 On September - 18 - 2016Comments Off on Planting for tomorrow

Last Saturday was an awesome day to plant trees for beavers. Don’t believe me? Just check out the exccellent photos wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas sent me yesterday.

tree-planting

Isn’t that gorgeous? Apparently her editor at Ranger Rick loved them. And theoretically the beaver article will run either June or July of 2017. Obviously Martinez children don’t just know how to plant trees. They know how to tend them too.

watering

ethanOur heroes were Ethan, Brittney, Alana and April. Didn’t they do a fantastic job? Etbrithan’s dad is a biologist and was very excited about how comfortable he looked with a shovel. Brittney’s mom said she had just helped all day in the garden so she was not afraid to get dirty. And Alanaalana just sent her application to be a junior docent at Lindsey Wildlife which I was honorapriled to write a recommendation for.  And you probably recognize April from her spirited career as a documentary critic.

They are truly the face of tomorrow’s watersheds.

Magic Mornings

Posted by heidi08 On September - 14 - 20161 COMMENT

This is a magical article from Michael Runtz of canada speaking about his recent visit to an Algonquin beaver pond.

A day of nature revelations

It was a cool and misty predawn when I arrived at Algonquin Park’s Argue Lake. Soon I was watching a large Beaver groom itself atop a feeding bed a mere 30 feet away. It was too dark for photographs but I was content just to watch.

Suddenly the silence was broken by the howls of wolves, emanating somewhere near the far end of the lake. I waited a few minutes after the magnificent chorus ended, and then I howled. The pack replied immediately.

I wanted to wait until sunrise before looking for the wolves. Half an hour passed and then dawn broke.

I quietly paddled my canoe to the far end of the lake, still shrouded with mist. Once there, I scanned nearby slopes for wolves, but saw none. I howled from my canoe and soon the wolves replied, but to the east.

With adrenalin coursing through my body, I watched to see if one might make an appearance. Excitement peaked when two dark forms scrambled down a nearby hill. But the animals were black, and Eastern Wolves are rarely that colour.

A Beaver slapped its tail, informing me that the dark animals had entered its space. Moments later, four Otters came snorting and huffing past my canoe, sticking their heads out of the water like giant periscopes to get a better view of me.

Half an hour passed and no wolves, so I paddled back to my car. I then struck out on foot, following an old logging road that ran parallel to the lake. I walked slowly and quietly, stepping on moss whenever possible.

After a while I left the road and bushwhacked eastward, moving slowly and avoiding stepping on sticks.

Eventually I came to a large pond. After several minutes of scanning, I spotted the head of a large wolf sticking out from Bracken across the pond from me. It stared in my direction, but I was hidden.

I howled, and it stood up and walked into full view. It howled back and began to bark, an indication that it was the pack’s dominant leader telling the intruding wolf to leave their territory. I barked back, and the wolf responded even more aggressively. After several minutes of exchanging vocal affronts, the beautiful animal walked away, content that the impudent intruder was not going to cross the pond.

It has been 26 years since I last had a chance (unsuccessful) to photograph a howling wolf. Thus, I was ecstatic to finally achieve a long-standing goal.

I was also delighted over my encounter with Otters, plus getting a picture-perfect shot of a Ring-necked Duck taking off in the mist. I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming; it was indeed a morning when Nature revealed herself wonderfully to me.

Ahhh we’ve enjoyed many a magic morning at our beaver pond, though we never got to see wolves. I am sure Mr. Runtz sleep-clock is broken too, and we probably both wake up at 5 even  when we aren’t planning too. The very first beaver I ever saw was  from the front seat of this canoe where I spent many a magic morning over the past 25 years. Fate and my cerebellum have decided I don’t get to enjoy the quiet paddle anymore so you can imagine how happy I am at this arrival to my porch, under which I will be able to enjoy magic mornings on forever more.

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Beaver Mania

Posted by heidi08 On September - 10 - 2016Comments Off on Beaver Mania

Sometimes when you talk to reporters they can’t remember things if you say too much and you have to limit your comments to one or two key points and repeat them over and over.  Sometimes they get the gist, but not the details. Sometimes you can just tell they’re waiting to talk to the next person and are sick of listening to you. But every now and then you run into a reporter that remembers EVERYTHING you said so you better not say it wrong. Richard Freedman of the Vallejo Times-Herald definitely falls into that last category, I now realize. (Hopefully I didn’t get myself in too much hot water with the otter folks!)

Beaver mania comes to the Empress in Vallejo

Beavers don’t get the great PR like otters. You know, eating off their tummies in the ocean. Stuff like that. Even beaver crusader Heidi Perryman shrugs, “Everyone loves otters. They’re cute and don’t build dams. I’m feeling jealousy how easy otters’ lives are.”

Yet, the beaver, those buck-toothed, paddle-tailed rodents, play an integral role in the food chain and the environment, says Perryman.

Those dams they build hold back water, sure, but it creates more bugs. Fish eat bugs. Birds eat fish. Beyond more wildlife, the beavers have conserve water and in a drought era, it’s vital, Perryman noted.

A child psychologist when she’s not lobbying for beavers, Perryman joins Kate Lundquist as speakers this Friday at the Empress Theatre for “Beaver Mania,” an evening that includes the film, “Leave it to Beavers” as part of the Visions of the Wild festival.

Well I can’t deny it. I do feel jealousy. Ha!

Not only was the beaver saved in Martinez, it’s become the star of a huge mural and an annual summer beaver festival as Perryman created a nonprofit, “Worth a Dam,” with a website, martinezbeavers.org.

“I really wanted to persuade people not to kill the beaver. I didn’t expect to become an expert,” Perryman said. “I’m an accidental beaver advocate.”

It shouldn’t be surprising that beavers even live in Vallejo, said Perryman.

“We’re constantly expanding. We’re growing into places where they used to be and that’s not going to change,” she said. “At the same time, their population is recovering.”

Though humans may be concerned that beavers could overrun an area, it’s not likely to happen, Perryman said.

“Beavers are territorial. They don’t want to live around each other,” she said. “If one family has moved in, another will go off to look for unchartered territory and sometimes that’s an urban stream with a low gradient, trees on it, and nobody usually goes there.”

It’s interesting to me that one could look through the evolution of my beaver advocacy like analyzing the layers of stratification in soil and see where I crossed paths with a new teacher who taught me something I wanted to retain. Like the term “low gradient” applied to urban streams (from Greg Lewallen when we worked on the urban beaver paper) or the upcoming section on beaver resilience (from Leonard Houston’s address at the last State of the Beaver conference). I guess sometimes I listen too.

Beavers, continued Perryman, are a resilient bunch.

“They were the first animals after Mount St. Helens eruption (1980). And one of the first species after Chernobyl (nuclear explosion 1986),” said Perryman. “They have a lot of adaptive ability, so they’re coming to a city near you so we may as well learn how to deal with them.”

“Leave it to Beavers,” a 53-minute documentary by Jari Osbourne, “is a great movie,” Perryman said. “I know people will leave the theater thinking, ‘Beavers do a lot of things I didn’t know.’”

Visions of the Wild runs through Sept. 18, including “Beaver Mania!’ 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia St., Vallejo. Free. Discussions and documentary, “Leave it to Beavers.” For more, visit visionsofthewild.org.

I’m pretty happy with this article, and starting to get excited about the event. Solano county received its share of depredation permits in the last three years so I’d love to teach them something new about beavers. The theater is a lovely old restored venue and it will be really fun to watch our beavers and Jari’s documentary on the big screen.

Are you coming?

empress

Is Rewildling good for England?

Posted by heidi08 On September - 5 - 2016Comments Off on Is Rewildling good for England?

Sometimes the messages that get the most listened to are the ones that come from people you don’t expect to send them. I mean if you read a column by me saying we should save beavers you’d think nothing of it and just toss on the pile of the nine million other articles I’ve written about the exact same thing. But if one day, quite unexpected, you opened the webpage and read my writing that beavers should be eliminated from streams because the cause cholera, you take notice. And actually stop and think, whoa maybe that’s true.

It’s not though. Beavers don’t cause cholera and I’ll never ever write that, but you get the point of the analogy right?

Mr. Cohen is is a columnist and political commentator for the Spectator and Observer. He’s one of those who supported the Iraq war and opposed Scottish independence. So it was pleasing to read this headline.

I’m sorry if rewilding hurts farmers, but we need it

Apart from crags and pockets of ancient woodland, the British uplands are manmade. Three thousand years before Christ, neolithic farmers felled the trees and gave us a landscape stripped to grassland by grazing sheep we take as “natural” today. Two thousand years after Christ, new forces are moulding the British uplands. They will bring back at least a part of what stone age men destroyed.

It’s hard to believe in an unequal country, where wealth and land are so unevenly distributed, but the ecology of the hills depends on popular approval. When public opinion moves, the hills move with it. However solid their drystone walls are, they will not be strong enough to hold back political change, climate change and changes in fashion, which affect the countryside as surely as they affect clothes and music.

Before the Romantic movement, most saw the Highlands as wastelands. Our love for them is a result of the romantic reaction against the Industrial Revolution, which in turn produced its own revolution in sensibility. Another revolution is upon us. It is easy to mock the rewilding movement just as it was easy to mock the Romantics. But I would keep the “Disneyland” jeers to a minimum if I wanted to get a hearing.

Rewilding the fells is not just townies forcing their naive fantasies on the countryside. It is a hard-headed policy: in a tiny way, it will help offset global warming; more tangibly, it will slow the floodwaters climate change is bringing. It will also be popular. If you doubt me, look at how many go to see the new beaver colonies in Scotland or the wetlands in East Anglia and Somerset. Or listen to the sympathetic hearings plans to reintroduce lynx to the Kielder Forest receive. Look even at the seeds on sale in supermarkets and notice how popular the wildflowers we once dismissed as weeds have become.

“Taxpayers should only pay public subsidy to farmers in return for things that the market won’t pay for, but are valued and needed by the public,” said the National Trust’s director general, Helen Ghosh, after the Brexit vote. Her shopping list included wildflowers, bees and butterflies, farmland birds, water meadows and meandering rivers, which themselves slow flood water.

You can mock her if you want, but your mockery won’t stop her. Romanticism was a reaction against industrialisation and rewilding is a reaction against global warming and the mass extinction of species. It is likely to be as uncontainable.

The notion that rewilding is a response to Global Warming and species extinction appeals to me. That it is rooted in the romanticism’s rejection of the industrial revolution gives it a prominence and a place in history. That our taxes should subsidize things that matter, and that wildflowers and beavers matter, that REALLY appeals to me.

That being said, I’m not convinced that increasing watershed or land complexity is bad for farmers. It’s good for water quality  and it’s good for bees both things their work requires. Making the countryside into a quilt of matching patchworks reduces its ability to survive all the increasingly horrific things that mother nature will be throwing our way. Better to diversify our landscape portfolio and let diversity itself be our seatbelt for the bumpy ride ahead. I am reminded of Brock Dolman’s discussion of the watershed as the ‘Lifeboat’.

I’m not sure what will happen with the save-the-farmers movement in the UK but I can’t see they’re helping their case much meanwhile by resisting and shooting beavers.

But maybe that’s just me.

 

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