11.26.2013

BACKYARD BEAVER


We are in love with our backyard. Our property line ends right at a beautiful field that borders the Teton River. We spend a lot of time back there playing in the trees and the water. It's really fun how much wildlife we see in our mini wilderness. We've seen turtles, snakes, quail, ducks, Canadian geese, herons, bald eagles, coyotes, red foxes, and signs of or reports of moose, deer, bobcats, and even mountain lions.

The most conspicuous animal however, has been the beaver. The. dam. beaver. 



We actually lived here over a year before we ever saw the thing. But we knew it was there. It's home is huge...like, bigger than our bed, huge. Bigger than our bathroom, huge. If it just swam happily in the pretty river, I wouldn't complain. But instead, it spends its spare time cutting down half the trees in our private forest. 

I'm not exaggerating. We've counted 40+ trees downed! This spoils our back window views and makes me steaming mad.



The day we formally met for the first time, was a special day in June. Special because my little sister was visiting us all by her big-self from 2 states away. And special because it was as if the beaver's emergence was preserved specifically for her.



Throwing sticks in the river for Moose to retrieve, we heard what sounded like large rocks getting thrown into the water from the opposite bank. When there was no sign of anyone, we figured some boys were trying to be funny by hiding in the reeds. We ignored them. 

But it kept happening. And it was LOUD. 




Finally I spotted this guy! That beaver was slapping his tail against the water in an attempt to be threatening and scare us away! 

Fat Chance. We weren't going anywhere.  




At the time, all I had was a cell phone, but I caught this sweet action shot. 



video
And a video.



Soon, Andrew joined us with my camera, so I could get some real shots. By this time, all that tail thumping must have made the beaver hungry, because he was got out to munch on a bush...keeping one cautious eye on us at all times. 



This gave us an opportunity to see how big he really was. 



And he was fat. Fat from eating 40+ of my trees! 

I tried to get Moose to eat him, but our playful pup was only interested in the stick my sister was holding.



Like a big rat.




And then he was back in the water. Eventually, our excited family hiked home while I pondered the fashion forwardness of a beaver pelt hat. 




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do a little internet search on beaver, they are a keystone species, get rid of beavers and everything goes to desert. There's a really great documentary about it... also there are ways you can get beaver to go build their dams where you want, Google beaver whisperer..

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