We didn’t see or hear any hunter action as is usual for the Monday after the third weekend of bear season.A newspaper article told of bear visits to hunters’ baits dropping off drastically this past week.
We were happy to see Kimani and her two female cubs come by for a couple ID pictures showing the similarities of their dark faces.
It is not often a beaver can make a more striking appearance than a bear, or maybe we should just call it even today, but a beaver gave me my biggest surprise today. I’ve been wanting to get a beaver picture to go with the rejuvenated lodge a tenth of a mile from my window across the lake. I saw ripples near the dock just down the hill from my window and grabbed my camera. I moved quietly, trying to catch it on shore grabbing a bite to eat. I got down to the shore. No ripples. Was I too late? Or was the beaver on shore. I walked out on the dock looking down the shore each way. Nothing. I turned to leave and there was the beaver carrying a hazel branch to the water like I’d seen one swimming with a few weeks ago. He was maybe ten feet from the shore and heading toward me. He paused. I clicked one of my luckiest shots ever. He had beautiful fur. It was good light. I stood quietly except for the camera click. He came on ahead, entered the water next to the dock, swam maybe 10 feet and let go of the branch. I thought the show was over. He swam out a way, turned, and circled back, looking like a different beaver in the different light and the water reflecting the blue sky. He seemed calm. He swam back to the branch, bit off a leaf, and ate it facing me, holding it with his hands like I’d not seen before. Then he calmly swam off, probably thinking discretion is the better part of valor. I went back to my desk and got busy and didn’t go back down to see if he came back for the rest of the branch. I looked at the pictures on my computer and was happy to see good definition, although the three pictures looked like three different beavers in the different lights.
A good day with no gun shots and memorable interaction. I like it when wild animals are somewhat accepting when I stand quiet and try to be non-threatening. I’m thinking of a book of moments like this and will likely include the two pictures of him in action doing things I had never been able to witness close-up like this before.
Thank you for all you do,
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA