Leech Lake, Muskoka

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Brazen Beaver

Labour Day weekend was the finest weather of this cottage season! The sun and light winds made for an excellent time. As well the absence of insects made it most enjoyable especially at night when one could go out and view the majesty of the cosmos. When you experience the thousands of stars it makes one aware of how insignificant man is in this vast universe.

On Sunday evening just at dusk a beaver went steaming by from west to east. It was cruising close to shore, and went under our dock and then meandered along its way. Later I went outside to view the night skies. As soon as I got on our dock I heard a crunching noise coming from the vicinity our neighbour's cottage on the west. Knowing that our neighbour was not up to the lake this weekend I became curios. I shone my light over in that direction. The noise continued on and I raked the bush and shore with my light finally zeroing in on a beaver hunched down in the shallows of a small cove, chowing down on a small branch. I concentrated my light on the critter expecting it to take flight slapping the water with its tail as it left. No reaction. It just continued snacking on the twig. I took the light away and then quickly zeroed in again on the beaver. It continued eating at its leisurely pace. I yelled at it. Still no reaction. So I walked off the dock and around along the shoreline, all the time keeping the light trained the beaver. As I closed to within about 25 feet it looked around and and then slowly steamed out of the cove and in to the darkness. The next morning the evidence was in the cove, a small maple branch almost completely stripped of its bark.

I thought all the beavers would be working on their dam at the end of the lake because judging from the lake level that dam has sprung a leak or two.