Archive for the ‘Festival’ Category

Sometimes a donation begins with a smile

Posted by heidi08 On March - 3 - 2017Comments Off on Sometimes a donation begins with a smile

One of the best parts about being forced to beg for beaver delights in the silent auction  is connecting with folks around the world whose hearts have been inexplicably touched by beavers. They created whatever they created because of this and they are delighted to meet another human in the world who’s worked for them too. They are inspired by our story, and I am reminded that good people exist in the world. It’s a perfect storm of goodness.

Capture4Case in point: MK Carving of Abbotsford British Columbia. He doesn’t even think he can donate because his pieces are usually custom made, but Mori Kono was so nice about  beavers and supportive of our work he gets a mention. And you will understand RIGHT AWAY why I wrote. He calls this enchanting piece “Oops!”.


Capture3How much do you wish you could climb these stairs every night? Who ever he made this for must lead an enchanted life. Come to think of it, we might actually know them. Do you think it was Glynnis Hood or Michael Runtz? Or maybe some evil executive for the Hudson Bay Company? I imagined whoever it was named their stair guardian. Do you think they pat every night on their way to bed? I’m pretty sure I would. I wrote him that I had thought I was so clever because when I made the ‘manger’ for my beaver creche I had amused myself by adding a few chew marks. I couldn’t believe someone else had the same idea and executed it so delightfully!

Beaverstock final logo 2016Another recent connection came from Castoro Cellars in Paso Robles. They had donated to us many times over the years, but had recently stopped which I was very sad about. I’m still on their mailer and I got the notice that their very popular “Beaverstock” concert extravaganza which had grown so much over the years had received a ‘cease and desist letter’ from the attorneys of the real “Woodstock” and they were told to change the name OR be sued.

Lawyers are good at making petty indignation seem threatening so they were looking for a new name. Hmmm, I mulled over the dilemma for a few moments and then broke into a grin. I immediately wrote the owner that there was only ONE sensible solution.

Instead of BeaverSTOCK call the concert BeaverSTICK!

The owner wrote back last night much amused and suffice it to say we get our donation. Thanks Castoro Cellars!



Wagons Ho-Ho-Ho!

Posted by heidi08 On February - 19 - 2017Comments Off on Wagons Ho-Ho-Ho!

It’s the last time you’ll be hearing from me for a while  and lord knows that must be a kind of Sunday comfort.  Tomorrow is Bob’s grand debut so don’t forget to give him plenty of positive feedback.

conference Our new rule is only good news on Sunday, so I have a few fun things to share before I go. Paul and Louise are coming to dinner Tuesday night and maybe Leonard and Lois too, so we have lots to look forward to. But don’t feel left out,  you get treats as well. The first is a lovely discussion of ecological engineers from our old friend Mary Willson in Juneau.

On the trails: Ecological engineers

We use the word “engineer” in a confusing variety of ways and contexts, but here I mean to refer to organisms that create physical structures or changes in the environment — physical changes that affect other kinds of organisms. The concept is still very broad — one could say (and some researchers do so) that a forest of trees or large kelp, or a tallgrass prairie or an eelgrass bed, produces an environment in which temperature, humidity, air or water currents, precipitation patterns, or soils may be altered, thus affecting many other organisms by providing habitat or access to resources.

However, here I want to consider other “engineers” — those that deliberately, intentionally make or modify physical structures for their own purposes, with collateral consequences for other organisms.

The most well-known ecological engineers in the natural world are beavers. By building dams, they impound water, raising the water table, creating ponds, sometimes preventing floods, but also flooding low-lying areas. Although they may instinctively respond to the sound and feel of running water by trying to build a dam, they make deliberate choices about the size and shape of a dam and its component parts; they also maintain their structures continually. Beaver ponds provide good habitat for fish, especially juveniles, aquatic insects, various birds, and certain plants, although they obviously destroy portions of the adjacent area by flooding it. Some dams are hundreds of yards long and some are many feet high, depending on the terrain. A well-constructed, well-maintained beaver dam can last for many years, and its effects on the landscape may persist long after the beavers have moved on: the pond gradually fills with sediment and dead vegetation and eventually turns into a meadow.

We’re number ONE. Beavers make it happen! Mary goes on to describe other engineers but of course we’re spec-ist around her and we only care about the first one. If you would like to be smart and entertained, go read the others and learn about the wanna be-avers. I’m just going to bask in the recognition that beavers are the job-creators of an entire community.

The second wonderful thing is a photo I came across and having been saving for the right moment to share. It’s titled “Beaver playing the flute” for obvious reasons. All I know about this photo is on the caption below. But isn’t that fun?

Beaver, Playing the Flute? (by Alexander Koenders)

The third thing I want to share is the AMAZING donation we received from artist Sara Aycock. She’s a very clever woman in Boise Idaho with a book coming out next fall. I fell in love with her “Victorian Animals” series and she was crazy generous sendng 5 beautifully framed giclee prints that will completely knock your socks off. Each print comes with a framed character description as well. I’m partial of course to Mr. Beaverton. You need to go right now to her etsy store and support this kind of generosity and talent, because something tells me there will be a line waiting to bid on these delightful items at the auction.



Another dam festival!

Posted by heidi08 On August - 18 - 2016Comments Off on Another dam festival!

It’s starting to be time for the third annual beaver dam jam with our friends in Pocatello Idaho. I’m really proud of Mike Settell and is band of merry folk for getting this together in a state that traps more than it treasures. I am pretty sure that our festival convinced these folks to try their own, but even I can’t imagine what it would take to offer camping AFTER the event!

3rd annual Beaver Dam Jam to raise money for Watershed Guardians

POCATELLO – The third annual Beaver Dam Jam, a music event to support beaver conservation, will feature the bands Country Drive and Hot Pursuit and other activities from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 27 at the Mink Creek Pavilion, located in the Caribou National Forest on South Mink Creek Road.

Watershed Guardians helps the Portneuf Watershed, by helping beaver. Proceeds from the events will support BeaverCount, a free winter event to census beaver colonies in Idaho. Watershed Guardians also educates the rural and urban communities on non-lethal methods of beaver damage control.

The Mink Creek group campsite holds up to 200 folks and has a nice outdoor pavilion that is a popular outdoor wedding venue. It’s about 12 miles south of town and they arrange for buses to get everyone out there and back safely. Can’t you just imagine the whooping good time of dancing under that pavilion? They provide food and beer is available for a donation. You can bring camping gear (including bicycles) on the bus. I can’t even imagine the planning this takes.

Well, I can sort of imagine.


This year’s edition of “Thanks Bob!”

Posted by heidi08 On August - 14 - 2016Comments Off on This year’s edition of “Thanks Bob!”

Bob Rust finally gets the credit he deserves after years of hard work. You won’t find any photos in the article, but of course we have them all.

Eye on the East Bay: ‘Beaver mobile’ turns heads at Martinez festival

IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST: Beaver sightings are not all that uncommon along Alhambra Creek in Martinez — especially during the city’s annual Beaver Festival, which took place last weekend — so it takes something larger than life to turn heads. Leave it to Bob Rust to answer the challenge.

beaver-bread Rust, an environmental scientist by trade, has been moonlighting as the festival’s unofficial artist in residence for several years, surprising audiences with his whimsical creations that have ranged from beaver-shaped loaves of bread to a mechanical beaver tail to a giant inflatable beaver reminiscent of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon.
giant beaver
For this year’s festival, Rust made a grand entrance on what might best be described as a “beaver mobile.” He started with a low-slung adult tricycle that he picked up used, then covered it in a papier mâché shell that he painted in appropriate shades of brown, attaching a huge tail that dragged noisily on the ground as he pedaled around the festival grounds, all while hidden within the faux beaver’s mighty belly.

Rust, who last year crafted a beaver out of wattle and daub as the festival was in progress, is no stranger to taking his creations from concept to completion on short notice. He spent about a week on the beaver mobile, and was still putting the finishing touches on it that Saturday morning. He said he was painting the critter’s white teeth at 10:15 a.m. and needed to get it to the festival by 10:30.

Rust has more than a passing interest in beavers. An avid kayaker, he usually tries to take his boat onto Alhambra Creek prior to festival weekend to remove trash or other unsightly debris.

No telling what he might do for an encore at next year’s festival, but he is intrigued by the idea of bringing back his beaver bread — baked in a beaver-shaped oven. Stay tuned …


The beavers are SO lucky to have a hero like this working for them! Thanks Bob!

Beavers go to the theater

Posted by heidi08 On August - 12 - 2016Comments Off on Beavers go to the theater

 A wild and wacky look at one of the most important critters on the continent. We’ll hear why they almost disappeared and how they are making comeback.

Film Screening: Leave it to Beavers

Presentations by:

Kate Lundquist
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

Heidi Perryman, Ph.D
Worth A Dam/

Music by Organic Women’s Chorus

Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia Street, Vallejo, CA

Friday, September 16, 7pm – 10:00 pm

Happy you-know-what to you-know-who.

jon (2)


Posted by heidi08 On July - 31 - 2016Comments Off on Reparations

Feedback from  the lion’s den. Imagine how happy I was to get this from the commissioner who invited me.


Hi Heidi,

 Your presentation was right on – just what the Commission needed to here. I really enjoyed your style and the Point-on photos too. Also appreciated that you often included information from research. Thanks too for the brochure, very helpful, I will put it to good work. … I had a little chuckle when you mentioned that some commissioners were not watching the screen – you could not see it, but each of us has a private monitor directly in front of us on our desk. It mirrors what is shown on the big screen. We can see the presentation much better, especially the details,  when we watch it from our own monitor. J  … I believe you captivated us all.

With deep appreciation for the work you do on behalf of Beavers, and also for coming such a long way to share your knowledge us. You did a fantastic job!

Whooo hoooo! Now this truly makes me happier. And certainly makes me feel like I didn’t waste my time or theirs. I really couldn’t believe they wouldn’t look at all. I’m glad to know they  were able to watch without swivelling. Good then, time for me to get over any hurt feelings and buckle down with Deidre and Leslie to organize the Hundred and twenty items we have for the silent auction today. We have wonderful items grouped by Household, Things to do, Jewelry, Artwork, Apparel, Books and Toys. Some 4500 in value and I’m hoping we generate a nice amount of funds for the mural and festival, You’re gonna help, right?


And baby makes three…

Posted by heidi08 On July - 30 - 2016Comments Off on And baby makes three…

Meanwhile the folks in Olympic Village are worried where there beaver kits will grow up. And have apparently forgotten about yearlings entirely.

Baby beavers in Olympic Village may struggle to find a home in Vancouver

The struggle to find housing is a classic Vancouver dilemma and it seems even beavers in this city aren’t exempt. 

A growing family of beavers living in a park by Vancouver’s Olympic Village may soon find themselves struggling to find a new habitat because nearby urban areas suitable for rodents are at capacity.

Based on public videos and photos, Vancouver Park Board biologist Nick Page believes up to three baby beavers are now are living with their parents in Hinge Park.

“The challenge is as the beaver population expands, that habitat isn’t large enough to support even a pair of beavers,” said Page.

Hinge Park, a man-made wetland, is considerably smaller than the usual habitats beavers tend to occupy — which means far less food. The baby beavers will likely live with their parents for at least another year before a new litter comes when he expects the trio will be forced to move out of its current lodgings.

Hmmmm that’s a head-scratcher for sure. Where the heck will those three beavers go to find their home? Obviously they won’t be allowed to stay in Hinge park. How can they POSSIBLY escape with all that concrete? I have a guess. Do you?

CaptureApparently Canada has forgot A LOT of what they learned about beavers – including that yearlings stay with the family another year or two to take care of the new kits. And they forgot that beavers don’t need to live in small waterways and can be perfectly happy in larger bodies just like they are on the Carquinez strait which gets salt water from the ocean and fresh water from the valleys. There are a lot of bays and inlets in that Salish sea that will probably work and remember beavers can thrive in water as salty as 10 parts per 1000.  IF all three kits live that long, which isn’t a sure thing in this world they’ll find a home.

Yesterday we worked on the prize wheel that was generously donated by Jeanette, shown with her niece working at prior festivals here. She was planning on being there to borrow one of the large ones from her corporation, but when that didn’t work out she bought one for us instead. This will be at the membership booth and donations of 20 dollars or more will earn a spin and win one of these fine treats! Hopefully the lovely clicking noise it makes when it spins will lure traffic to the booth and compel hard working folks to invest in some amazing beaver opportunities!