Thursday, April 22, 2010
Last night we headed to a nearby lake to observe a family of beavers at their lodge. I'm borrowing pictures taken by Sue who has a great camera, since it was dusk and hard for me to get a good shot. Christina told us before we went out that beavers are sensitive to movement and will warn other beavers of potential danger by slapping their large tail on the water and diving underwater. This tells predators that the beaver has seen them and not to bother trying to hunt it. So, we all lined up along the water's edge and sat perfectly still and quiet to see what would happen. At first I saw a red-winged blackbird sitting on the lodge. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw something in the water. Since beavers swim with their feet, not their tail, it left a V shaped trail of water behind it. There was also a muskrat that came around, which is smaller, but they swim mostly with their tails and leave a kind of zig-zag trail of water behind them. The beavers would swim back and forth to a little island of sticks that they had piled up. We could even hear them gnawing on the bark! Sometimes they would bite of a branch to carry over to the lodge. Through my binoculars I got a really good look at them!