First the silly thing….
SASKATOON – A beaver caused a large grass fire Saturday, according to the Saskatoon Fire Department. The blaze was located near Valley Road, south of the city near The Berry Barn. The fire department says the animal chew ed down a poplar tree which fell on a power line.
Those beaver arsonists are the worst! Smoking in bed, starting fires with their appetizer course, with zero regard for personal property. They obviously don’t know how hard it is to put up those power lines in the first place.
Now, let’s share in the wondrous developments at the Napa beaver pond, where Rusty has been patiently waiting for a glimpse of the new kits. Of course while he’s waiting there’s lots to see. Check out this weekends bounty.
He even got video of two otters at the sight having a little tussle. Megan of ROEP thinks it mighthave something to do with mating. How exciting!
Now for this truly stunning photograph brought to my attention by someone I can’t yet bring to your attention. Isn’t this BEAUTIFUL?
This is the kind of photo that every wildlife watcher dreams of getting. That perfect moment when opportunity crosses your path and everything goes right. He writes that it’s a mother carrying her kit, which is a fair assumption. But we in Martinez know it might not be true. The most stunning footage I ever got was dad carrying both kits. And we only know that because of mom’s beautiful tail clue.
This is the kind of photo that saves beavers, so I hope Jeff doesn’t mind too much if I share. You can see Jeff’s remarkable work on flickr here.
And finally the best for last. Now pull up a chair and gather close because this is really important. First, a little background. In the films about Grey Owl they describe him doing a special call to bring the beavers. The way a duck call brings ducks. Which I would have ignored as silly if I hadn’t also read in a book about someone who hand-reared kits in Canada who said that their brother was a trapper and he taught her to call beavers. She noted that it was so powerful she would never teach anyone else because she didn’t want trappers to use it. So I was curious.
And then there’s Bernie Krause’s amazing recording of the beaver after the dam and his family was blown up. It sounds very much like he is mourning. But I after I heard it I always wondered if he was calling to find them. (Which is what we would do if our homes were blown up and we weren’t sure if our family members were inside.) I discussed this idea with him, but he was fairly disinterested. But then yesterday – out of NOWHERE – I stumbled on this.
I know that readers of this site mostly don’t click on the videos. Life is busy and who has time? Believe me when I say you want to see this. (I was so scared it would end badly I practically watched it with my eyes closed the first time. But nothing bad happens, trust me.) And this is really, really worth your time.
(I trust if you know any trappers, you won’t show it to them.) And honestly, don’t practice this call on our beavers because they’ve been through enough. But isn’t that amazing? Do you realize what this means? It means parents call kits. And beavers call each other. I am sure this is a youngish beaver, looking for his family. What surprised me was not only that it existed, but how very different the sound is from a kit whining. Almost like loud nasal mooing. Also I could hear the similarity in the young beaver answers, and hear how similar it is to our kits whining. It made me think that beaver kits are imitating adult speech – just like children!
Honestly, this is a big deal. Such a big deal that I got an email last night from Bernie Krause himself.