Saturday, August 05, 2006

Beaver beaver

Beaver beaver
Build your dam
We’re the best team in the land
Beaver beaver
Bite and chew
We expect a lot of you!

(Old MIT fight song)

Our relaxation regimen these days consists of two dog swims a day, morning and evening. Yesterday we did a road trip to some swimming holes further away; today it was nearby Green River Reservoir. We drove all the way to the end of the road, then hiked for awhile, passing beaver ponds and following moose tracks.

A beaver pond is a remarkable achievement. It is a little spooky to be walking on a trail with a pond to your left two feet higher than the trail. You can see why the MIT boys at the turn of the century referred to the beaver as “nature’s engineer.”

One of my Vermont books says that seeing a beaver is unlikely, although you might see a nose in the center of a v-shaped ripple. And you very well might hear the sharp slap of broad tail as a warning. We heard two loud splashes today at the beaver pond, and Cassie made a swim for the source, but turned back. Whether it was my command or her native caution, I don’t know.

We love Vermont, but would happily forego close, personal encounters with beavers or with moose. We would just as happily avoid any repeat of Toby’s attempt to capture a woodchuck. This evening we found big goofy dogs at the Reservoir—that’s more our speed.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Seeing a beaver isn't really all that hard. Because I fish, I see them every once in awhile, especially if I'm fishing a beaver pond (now you got me wondering where you found the ponds!).

The following type of encounter has happened to me twice, both times on the Dog River, but in different places. As I worked my way along the river bank, concentrating on finding trout, a HUGE shadow shot out from some hidey hole an into the river, right out from under my feet.

The worse encounter, though, was, again, on the Dog River. This time, I didn't see the beaver, I only heard it's tail slap - approximately two feet behind and to the left. Scared the you-know-what out of me.

Though I've seen them at various times of the day, most often it has been at dusk.