“Those old days when the balancing of a yellow butterfly
o’re a thistle bloom
Was spiritual food and lodging
for the whole afternoon.” -Lowell
If Seth the small hadn’t gotten stuck in a pine tree down by the pond I probably wouldn’t have made my exciting nature discovery this morning.
But he did get stuck, and called for help, and that is how I stopped dusting and got outdoors.
As I walked down to lend a hand, I realized what a perfect autumn day it was turning out to be, glowing and breezy, warm and sunny.
He was outside in the first place, to wear off energy. So I made him run while Sarah and I went down to the stream with scissors. I was collecting thin branches of pretty leaves to fill a scarlet fiesta vase in the house.
The kittens ran ahead of us and raced through the tall grass and shrubs. I heard a splash in the stream and thought one of them had fallen in. When I saw they were both dry I next wondered if it had been a large turtle.
We meandered down the stream and pond and the sunshine was just right, making shadows and bright spots, in such a beautiful way. I gazed ahead through the trees and saw, to my surprise, a dam of sticks and leaves blocking up the stream. I stood and looked, almost not believing my eyes. How could a new beaver dam be built so close to the house without us noticing it?
Then I thought that perhaps the splash I heard was a beaver jumping in the water.
We’ve witnessed their work before. A few years back they plugged up the stream near the road, and the town came in to pull it up, twice. Last year they were working further into the woods. Now they are here. How fascinating!
We moved in closer and I noticed that the sticks were not chewed in the typical beaver way…..I think maybe they gathered up a lot of them from the ground in the woods….quite smart. Investigating further, I also saw signs of fresh small trees being brought down, too. Sad to say, when beavers are around, saying goodbye to trees will soon follow. It hurts to see them go, but I have read that they can be useful in clearing out smaller ones, enabling the remaining trees to thrive with more room to grow.
The stream is so full beyond the dam that it is softly flowing over the sides and into the woods, forming a small pond. The sound of the water filtering through the sticks and leaves is soothing. Some of it came up over my flip flops and I squealed ….so cold! It is a new look for our stream and it will be interesting to see how it will all end. The town isn’t very keen on beaver colonies.
“Hi! I’m Sarah and I’m checking out the beaver dam with Mom!”
After we looked it all over and had a lesson on how to say “beaver” (Seth kept saying “fever”) we moved on to take pleasure the woods for a little while.
yellows and red
wondering if she should climb
a dry curling leaf
Poor Seth ended up hurting his finger and getting a sliver so we headed back home for a bandaid.
The fresh air does a good job of tiring them out and right after lunch they went down for naps. They are sleeping still, and I wonder if they dream of beavers?
Sarah, two years ago.
All seven of my children…David, Ethan with Seth, Jacob with Sarah, Caleb with his eyes closed, and Grace.