Though in the low 40’s, the brisk day was sunny teasing me out. Samuel joined me for a paddle in the creek after my laps were completed. Bare trees make a stark environment, though the dam is still high causing a gentle cascade over the waterfall.
We sat a few moments at the edge of it in wondering at how hard the beaver had worked in the last few years. We had once enjoyed going down that part of the creek unencumbered by any hindrance at all. The dam began as a slight pile to 5 feet high, and growing, tightly packed with mud, twigs, sticks and large branches.
The beaver has added more mud to his hut along with piles of wood stuffs around the lodge for food, or to fill in holes in his house where wind might shear off walls in the winter to come.
So much is lost when the green goes away. No sigh of relief is felt like on a summer day when all the muscles relax. Instead my body remains rigid to resist the cold. A red coat was adorned with a bright orange cap so that hunters looking for deer don’t mistake me for one.
The beaver has made canoeing possible year-round because his dam has caused the creek to rise, and stay high. Most people find beavers a nuisance either shooting them (illegally) or trapping them to move elsewhere. We like them, finding their habitat and work habits fascinatingly admirable.