Leave it to beaver

Posted: January 14, 2020 in Nature
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As my time in McDowell Forest Preserve begins to come to a close, I look back and realize I’ve seen many wonderful things. But until recently, I hadn’t seen a beaver. I’d seen their work: the gnawed on or gnawed down trees. I’d see the attempts to prevent that work: fencing around the bottoms of young trees. I’d seen what I thought were their dens, but I’d never seen an occupant.

A few weeks before Christmas at the end of my walk while watching the geese on the river, I spotted the V-shape of what I first thought was just something floating. However, it looked to be moving too fast and as I watched, it turned, heading to the opposite shore. I thought it might be a muskrat.

I saw where it went, so I climbed down to the river, making my way as silently and slowly as possible to the pile of logs and rubbish (er, building materials) seen below. I waited. Suddenly I saw what appeared to be a floating stick suddenly upended and a furry head popping just out of the water. It was the beaver I’d waited so many years to see! I stood quietly with my phone out and an enormous smile on my face as it came home. Every walk since when I’ve had my Nikon, I’ve sneaked over and waited, but so far I haven’t seen the beaver again. Never mind. I saw it this once and it was grand!

  1. jpeggytaylor says:

    I do wish we, as humans, could learn to live in better harmony with the creatures who share our environment. I can imagine it’s a special experience to see a beaver in the wild. I always remember when we chanced to see an otter on a local river.

    • Although I don’t look for them as often as deer, I hadn’t seen one in all these years. I’d love to see an otter in the wild, but they’re not in our area and they certainly won’t be in Arizona. 🙂 I see coyotes sometimes and since you’re interested in animals who share our space, you might enjoy this article, which debunks a number of myths about urban coyotes: https://urbancoyoteinitiative.com/10-fascinating-facts-about-urban-coyotes/.


      • jpeggytaylor says:

        Thanks for the link, Janet – that is a fascinating article. I saw another article recently about urban coyotes, living on a certain President’s golf course in New York. It’s so good to hear about the successful spread of a species rather than the too frequent extinction stories of nowadays.

  2. Beavers and bees amaze me with what they can accomplish.

    • Ants are also quite industrious. I only worry about the bees right now. I read recently that almond farmers are on a whole bad for bees because of pesticides and other things, even though they need bees to pollinate the trees.

  3. I love seeing beavers and it’s always a treat for even a glimpse! Glad you finally got to see yours 😀

  4. You saw one! You saw one. How many times have I unsuccessfully stalked, yet never spotted one.
    What a gift. Very cool!

  5. Jet Eliot says:

    Really enjoyed your account of hoping to see the beaver, then actually seeing it, after a bit of work. Great that you were able to capture a photo, too! Thanks, Janet, for sharing this delightful sighting. I would love to see a beaver, I never have, though I have tried many times.

    • I hope you see one soon, too, Jet. It’s such a joyful experience to see an animal you’ve never seen before, even more so when you’ve been looking for it for some time. However, I still get joy from seeing deer in the park and I see them rather often. 🙂

  6. Leya says:

    How great, Janet! I can totally visualize your big smile! What a treat after all these years – worth waiting for. ♥

  7. JT Twissel says:

    I seem to remember that Native American tribes believe spotting a beaver to be the sign of coming good fortune. Hope so for you!

  8. What a lovely, and wonderful gift this was!!

  9. Prior... says:

    A grand sighting indeed and you so sweetly had us sneaking down with you!
    How fun

  10. restlessjo says:

    What a magical sighting! 🙂 🙂

  11. Resa says:

    Lovely pics, Janet. What a sweet creature.
    I’ve watched beavers many times. They are just another beautiful animal on the planet that are under appreciated.
    I’m just heart sick about the animals in Australia.

  12. joey says:

    I have literally never seen one in person, so I’m glad you’re sharing your sighting 🙂