Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beaver Watch Tours

Yesterday, S decided that she would like to go see the beaver. I get her up at 4:30am and she looks at me and says, "you suck." But, she laughs that line out. We put in on the west edge of the Workbench Lodge territory after a very quiet portage. We don't paddle much more than 50 yards before I spot one, then another, and then the first one surfaces 10 ft away and slaps tail. Now, S knows what a beaver looks like in the water (a moving log) and she starts spotting them on her own. We stop near the Workbench Lodge after the first two beaver have disappeared on us. A newborn kit, perhaps one or two months old is in the safety of the workbench, a tangle of semi submerged trees. An adolescent comes in towing a lilypad. They don't need to eat bark at this time of year as there is plenty of green vegetation available. By the time we paddle away from the Workbench, we've seen six or seven beaver. They all come from this same lodge.

A heron waits on the recently downed tree in the east channel, which we cross as if it was a beaver dam, getting out and standing on the log and pulling the canoe over. It only takes 30 seconds if you do it correctly.
You get wet if you do it incorrectly.

There are a lot of marsh wrens and red wing blackbirds calling in the east marsh.

As we round the bend to go to the Big Lodge, we sneak up on a Big Lodge beaver that is eating a lily pad. It submerges and we watch the lily pads wiggle and tug as it swims direct to the cattails. It doesn't surface and I figure that it has slipped under the floating cattails and come up in a safer spot.
We sit behind the Big Lodge for a half hour watching two, maybe three beaver watching us. It is getting near the time when they retreat into the lodge. The last one to watch is quite large and when it no longer shows itself we set off down the big lake in calm water under a fine sun.

No comments: