“cultivate the child’s imagination, love of the beautiful,
and sense of companionship with life out-of-doors.” Anna Comstock
Oh my friends! Spring is in the very cold air here! And during the days last week, so much snow melted that an abundance of water was streaming down the road. On Friday morning, it had turned cold enough to freeze that same water solid, so much so that a car lost control in it and went off into the woods right by our house. The High School bus had a terrible time picking up the kids, and the elementary bus was cancelled.
SO……David and Caleb got to stay home from school on Friday. It was an ICE DAY. It warmed up by afternoon, enough that I sent them outside to wander.
Wander they did, and discovered evidence of a new set of beavers living up the stream, deeper into the woods.
A few years ago, we had a very industrious beaver living near our house. He dammed up the stream over and over, and the town would just come and pull out all his hard work. The beaver finally gave up. I was sad about that, but I understand that they cannot build in the stream by the road.
I saw him once at dusk, silently gliding down the stream with a stick in his mouth.
I heard him several times, chewing through wood, sounding very much like my David eating a hard carrot.
We all became so interested in him that we read books about beavers and studied them. Beavers truly are hard workers and so interesting to learn about.
I was outside with Seth when the boys came home from the woods with satisfaction written on their faces, and an arm full of beaver sticks. The small sticks had been completely nibbled by beavers, they eat the bark for food. It is so fun to look at their teeth marks all over the sticks and the boys brought them home to keep.
In fact, one of David’s favorite things to do is to find a nice straight stick and cut the bark all off it. So, to find sticks that have already been peeled by a beaver are a treasure indeed.
On Saturday morning, Rich and I took a walk to see if we could find the place where the beavers are living. We had no trouble finding their lodge, which they make out of sticks and can only be entered by going through and under the water.
We kept walking on down the stream and looking.
We crossed over and walked back up on the other side and found the place where they are cutting down their trees.
They use their strong teeth to cut down a suitable tree, and then pull it into the water and glide to their lodge to put it in place.
I love seeing the little stumps and wood chips left behind.
And the marks of beaver teeth.
This is the view of their lodge from the other side of the stream. As you can see, they keep the little trees growing around it, it will be perfect camouflage for them, especially when the leaves come out on the trees later on this spring.
Of course I could not resist picking up some small sticks of my own, up off the ground. Before I even thought about beaver germs, I chewed on one. I couldn’t help myself, and Rich enjoyed teasing his strange wife. The sticks are about the circumference of thick pencils…..and are now currently in a mason jar on my kitchen window sill.
More information about beavers HERE.
This is what they look like:
(pictures not mine, gathered from the internet)
On our way back home, Rich and I saw Robins in the field.
Rich went in the house and I met up with our son Caleb, who was playing with the ice from the edge of the pond.
I picked up some tiny pinecones…..such a small bit of lovely.
Caleb pulled up a stick out of stream to eat the ice off it.
There were sheets of ice in the puddles by the stream. It is so very thin, Caleb recognized it and said, “Oh that’s paper ice.” He and David named it.
And if beavers aren’t exciting enough, I have yet another exciting nature discovery to report.
Part of the joy of spring is when the ponds finally thaw out and the children can catch their beloved frogs and turtles again.
I never dreamed to see a turtle this early in the season, but our small SETH actually spotted one on the edge of the pond, UNDER THE ICE! I have never seen such a thing! I thought they stayed buried in mud until the pond was free……I was able to quickly run down and take one picture, with my phone, before it slowly sunk back out of sight.
But my very favorite part of the weekend was ……..
Sunday night date with my handsome husband. Grace and I watched Jane Eyre (a classic romance) this weekend and how contented I am, to be living my VERY OWN ROMANCE, and my very own love story. Rich’s love and care is such a gift, one that I thank God for over and over.
Beavers, turtles, little boys, and especially the love of a good man. All things to be thankful for! Life is good.