Late this afternoon I decided to check out a secluded pond about 10 minutes from here in the hopes of maybe finding some ducks or something, and was most pleasantly surprised – beavers! I’ve visited this pond many times last fall, and never saw a beaver. There is no visible lodge – at least not from my vantage point – but the beavers were very obviously hauling pieces of wood and plants back to one spot along the shore.
The pond itself is secluded at the end of a dirt road. There’s a small muddy parking area, and that’s pretty much it. Photography was a little difficult, as the sun is low in the sky and is casting an orange reflection on the water from the trees on the opposite shore. I also did not have a tripod, and relied on my zoom lens and lots of breath-holding.
These beavers amazed me – I was standing on the shore in plain view, but they paid no attention to me at all. I must surmise that they are either used to fishermen/birders/canoists whatever on this pond, or they see very few people and aren’t afraid. I’m going with the former, judging by the number of tire tracks in the mud. I had to put the Jeep in 4/4 to climb the incline back out to the road.
Beavers happen to be one of my all-time favorite animals, so I was in beaver-heaven for a good half hour tonight. Boomer waited quietly and patiently in the Jeep while I crossed the mud to the shoreline. The beavers were making trips back and forth in front of me, carrying something they were collecting from underwater in the pond. Since I had camera in hand, I’d left binoculars in Jeep, so really didn’t get a good look.
Whatever they were collecting, they were bringing to shore behind this stand of reeds. That’s a beaver-butt just off shore, directly above the word “bringing” in this text. They may be working on a bank-lodge, or there may be a lodge hidden behind the reeds. It will require another trip and more hiking around the pond edge to be sure.
Beavers are usually very cautious and timid, and at the first sign of an intruder will slap their tails on the surface of the water, which sounds like a rifle-crack and is loud enough to alert all the other beavers. I kept expecting that behaviour from these folks, but they seemed quite contented to just get on with their work, and leave me to mine. Maybe they sensed I wasn’t a threat to them after all.
Still, I was surprised when this one swam up to where I had been standing on the shore just minutes after I returned to the Jeep. I took this photo out the Jeep window. The beaver is that long dark spot in the lower- middle of the photo, just a few feet off-shore.
Not the best photos, but without a blind and a tripod, not too shabby. I’ve found a new hang-out and you can be sure I’ll be visiting the beavers throughout the summer. Life is definitely good.