I have always liked beavers; I always had great respect for their work ethic. But one day, while hiking along the Savage River, I saw the most unlikely of sights: a beaver frolicking in the rapidly moving stream. It was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen – an animal seemingly having human-like fun.
I am accustomed to seeing beavers dutifully tending their dams and fastidiously collecting food for winter, so this sight was a far cry from the working beaver I was used to. This beaver was carefree, “rafting” down the river with childlike reckless abandon.
At that moment, the beaver became my favorite animal. (Well, favorite rodent at least.)
But then, as the beaver rode over the rapids and ought of sight, a thought occurred to me: This is no country for beaver. To my knowledge, there were no livable streams, rivers or ponds in the vicinity. What was at first giddy excitement over seeing an animal let loose and have fun turned to dread as I feared for the safety of the poor rodent. Let’s face it, a fat, juicy beaver must look like bacon-wrapped filet for a bear. And a beaver on land is about as agile as a bacon-wrapped filet.
I posted the photo below of the fun-having beaver to my Facebook page,
and to my relief, a friend told me that there were indeed beaver habitats in the vicinity. Further research, using the very much trustworthy site of Wikepdia, (after a few failed attempts at Googling “fun beaver” and “beaver party” and “beaver fiesta”) taught me that beavers often roam far away from their home ponds to find their own living space, make sexy time with lady beavers and start their own families.
Learning this gave me comfort. The beaver having fun in the river was merely sowing his wild oats before finding a pond and a lady-beaver of his own. Then I became concerned for a different reason: will he adjust to life on his own? Will his mama miss him?
These are the things that keep me up at night.
Click on any photo to open a slideshow view.
What is your favorite animal?
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I love this post Jeff! Perhaps it is the beaver population that loves inner city Calgary where they are quite safe from bears even if they do look like bacon wrapped filets. Fantastic photos. I have many shots of the gnawed off tree trunks left over from beaver fiestas but very few of the actual party goers.
Thanks Sue. That is interesting that beavers have invaded your downtown. Beavers are the most reliable animals to see here because they are active every evening. They are nocturnal by nature but with 24 hours of sunlight they have to come out for view.
Oh I had not thought of that Jeff. Yes they can’t hide forever. 🙂
Jeff this post has a look at the beavers’ work downtown. http://traveltalesoflife.com/2014/05/26/hazards-of-spring-running-beavers-geese-and-killer-bunnies/
Feel free to delete the link after you have had a look. I don’t mean to be intrusive on your blog.
Thanks for sharing the link. Next to humans, the humble beaver alters the landscape more than any other animal, which is very interesting, so it is fitting that they living together downtown. I do worry about you and your fellow joggers in such a perilous area. Maybe you should find a gym.
Truth be told there have been no beaver incidents here in Calgary, well other than for the trees. Now there are wire meshes around almost every tree up and down the entire Bow River to keep the sharp toothed critters from causing further damage.
I really love this post of yours. I have shared it on my blog’s FB page. Hope that’s all right with you.
Thanks for sharing the post. I will take all the publicity I can get. When you only have 4 readers, you can’t be picky 🙂
Oh you are hilarious Mr Freshly Pressed. 🙂
Great post and I loved the humour though the fat tourist brought back memories of a certain photo. Your life must be pretty good to have all these worries about beavers:)
Ah yes, my famous fat tourist photo. This post was almost a little Krahnpix-ian. I don’t know if that is good or bad 🙂
I don’t know either! But you gave me a new word.
I agree! Beavers are awesome! Loved your perspective with this post. Humor and compassion – it doesn’t get much better than that!
I was seriously worried about him! Do you have very many beavers in New Hampshire?
Yes we have lots of beavers here! I see them often when I go kayaking.
It makes my day to know someone was earnestly googling “beaver fiesta.”. Along with the images that brings to mind! Beautiful shots, you got so lucky to get that awesome picture of him playing, let alone witness it in the first place!
I was very lucky to see him and get that photo. The trail follows right along next to the river so I happened to be very close. It was probably a once in a lifetime event to see a beaver “rafting.”
Great, now I’m worried about the beaver.
I know, right?