Yesterday morning was the Full Beaver Moon.
I always feel blessed when I see wildlife. You have to keep your eyes and ears open. You need to train yourself to be able to spot things out of the ordinary. The easiest way for me to explain it, what works for me, are patterns. The woods have patterns to them. Everything looks a certain way. An example, it’s not normal to see vertical objects in the tree canopy. When see you a vertical object it’s probably something out of place like a bird sitting on a branch. If it’s not a windy day and a bunch of leaves overhead bustle then it’s probably a squirrel jumping around. If it just rained you can listen. If you hear a bunch of drops fall from a tree then some animal probably shook the tree.
I was out walking the woods the other day and about 50 feet off the trail through some thick brush I saw a big pile of sticks. Now, it’s not normal to see a big pile of sticks in the middle of the woods unless someone, or something, put them there. Not to brag, but most people wouldn’t have seen it and for that 1/2 of 1% that did see it, most of them wouldn’t find it interesting enough to investigate. You gotta be curious about the world that surrounds you. You gotta remember too that I live in the sub-urbs. All the pictures you see were taken close to my home. There are probably 1,000,000 people in a ten mile radius and my own town has 50,000+ inhabitants. I mean there are malls, Starbucks, auto dealers, Walmarts, mattress stores, cell phone stores, office buildings, gas stations, fast food places and malls. Did I mention malls, the soon to be boarded and shuttered malls?
My point is there is nature wherever you live and I would bet dollars to donuts that everything I post pictures of are close to your home too. Get out and look around.
It was getting dark so I apologize for the pic’s lack of clarity. This is what I saw, so I bushwhack off of the trail into the woods. And upon closer examination-
I would say this looks like a stick that beaver have chewed through. See, lots of people see this stick that’s been chewed off and don’t even realize that it’s telling them something. They don’t care or more likely they lack Curiosity, Inquisitiveness and Situational Awareness. These three traits: Curiosity, Inquisitiveness and Situational Awareness will help you survive any situation.
Remember, ‘many men saw the apple fall from the tree, but only one asked why.’ And that man who was curious enough to ask why was of course, Sir Isaac Newton.
So here you see a small clump of trees that beaver have gnawed trough. Be curious. Ask yourself questions and try to guess at the answers. I’d say these were chewed up maybe last summer or fall. I can guess at this because if you look, it looks like there is a season of new growth coming up out of the stumps that the beaver left. If you look real close you can even see the little striations from the beavers’ teeth. Some of these trees are maybe 4-5″ in diameter. Imagine a beaver dragging one of these trees through heavy brush. Not easy. That is one hard-working beaver.
Now some shots of the beaver den.
Click on the pic to expand it. It’s worth it. And another-
Click on the pic to expand it. This thing was big, maybe 15 feet across and maybe poked up four feet above the surface of the water. Remember, within 1/2 mile of this beaver den are many, many homes, a supermarket, restaurants, gas stations, auto dealers, town hall, public safety offices, major roads, schools and the soon to be boarded and shuttered malls. The beaver den was big and an unnatural object in the woods. The green in front of it is actually some sort of algae covering water.
So if you don’t keep your eyes open enough to spot a beaver den off trail in the middle of the woods, how do you expect to see the Zombie hiding behind the pillar in the parking garage late at night? Please don’t be one of those folks that stands in the middle of the aisle in the supermarket, or at the bottom of the escalator or right outside the exit of some building. That is a lack of Situational Awareness.
I like beaver (no jokes please, kids may be watching). They’re industrious. Industry is something lacking in the world today. Beaver mate for life and live in family units.
The MIT class ring has a beaver for it’s logo. I’m not a grad of MIT nor is this my ring.
“The beaver is North America’s largest rodent and is built for life in the water. Adults can be up to four feet long and weigh over 60 pounds. The beaver has webbed hind feet and a large, flat, nearly hairless tail. It uses its tail to help maintain its balance when it is gnawing on trees. It will also slap its tail against the water to signal danger or to warn away predators. The beaver has short front legs with heavy claws. Their rear legs are longer and their webbed feet help propel them through the water when they are swimming. When the beaver is under water, its nose and ears close up and a special membrane covers its eyes.”http://www.nhptv.org/Natureworks/beaver.htm
Work on your Curiosity, Inquisitiveness and Situational Awareness. What you want some homework? Ok, for those that want extra credit. For the next few days when you go out and about and you see other people out and about, really try to observe them. Make mental notes of the way they are dressed, their shoes, their clothing, who they are with, what they are doing there, if they are carrying parcels what’s in their bags or boxes, how old they are, how tall, how much they weigh, the nationality, guess what they do for a living. Look at their pockets and guess what may be in them, are their pockets bulging. Check out their belts. Is there anything hanging from them, a cell phone, a beeper, maybe something more nefarious. Are they wearing jewelry, a wedding band, a watch. Is the watch, ring, jewelry nice and expensive. Really, observe things. Open your senses like you never have before. Make a game of it.
So get out there, beat the bush and find some beaver.