Sunday 5 May 2019

When Beavers Move In

At dusk one fine evening
we spied three beavers grazing in our garden
(I didn't know they ate grass).
I thought it was parents evicting a three year old
from the network of dams further down our stream on the wetlands.

Evidence that they were finding more delicious
twigs to eat soon appeared on the shoreline.

Horror of horrors
the first big thing they chomped at
was my beautiful magnolia.

It tickled me pink that a bit of branch
had fallen next to a Rusty Pup ball
that had been hidden under snow all winter.

I love my poor magnolia

That very day Handy Hubby set about trying to protect it.

I found three branches from my magnolia in their first dam.
It is amazing
not even a trickle of water was escaping the pond.

We dearly wish we had the right property
to allow them to flood the place.
It would be fascinating to observe them
at such close quarters.
Because they come from an established family down the stream
we would rather discourage them
than have them captured and taken heaven knows where.
So we now have a daily routine of dismantling
whatever they have built overnight.
We have found two dams so far.
They really live up to the reputation of being hard workers.

We have counted as many as five in our little pond
since their arrival last week.
Very early one morning
I watched them working away on the dam
and finally two of the biggest ones
walked over the dam and down the stream. 
(Not enough water in the stream to swim down!)
I reckon they must have been the parents
who just come back up to help
redo all the work us terrible humans have destroyed in daylight.

I am taking the opportunity to collect beaver sticks.

More beaver sculptures are appearing every morning.

Geese and mallards and black ducks
visit the pond in pairs during the day whilst beavers sleep.
But when a lone heron arrived at dusk one evening
there was a big hullaballoo of splashing water
It didn't take the beaver one to scare him away.

 The deer aren't bothered
they are so relaxed with no Rusty Pups around
that they now rest among the trees
though keeping a close eye on our activities.

Meanwhile Spring has arrived inside
thanks to some pruning from a kind neighbour.
and needless to say
I have started on a beaver dam stitching.


  1. Love the first photograph

    This is hard, finding a way to reciprocity

  2. Finding a way to live where we do with respect
    to the other animals...a good story for us all.
    What will you do with those beaver sticks?

  3. Ahhhh Penny, you live in a wonderful "wild zoo" place !
    (though I can imagine you don't like your Magnolia dismantled !!!)

    (in fact : "we" took their land first .... now they're coming back ... :-) ...)

  4. A Beaver Dam Stitching -- now that will be a wonder. I am glad you and your DH are so kind to them. I encountered 3 deer crossing the road in front of my walking on the edge of town this afternoon. The small highway that is a short cut between 2 larger ones. Even the pick-up truck going in the opposite direction stopped. God bless our critters and all who take care to preserve them!

  5. What a lovely post, it fills my heart with serenity this description of what happens in your property. And a beaver dam stitch: can't wait to see it!

  6. Oh dear, here in Oz we have problems with over abundant native species. Love the idea of beavers but can see they can cause problems. Look forward to your beaver dam stitchery.

  7. We live on a small lake and for about 5 years I've enjoyed the pleasure of early morning kayak paddles along side several beavers and their young. Suddenly last Fall I stopped seeing them. To my horror, one of our neighbors told me that another neighbor across the lake had shot all of the beavers. I am so sad that humans can be so ignorant and harmful. I am happy that you are finding better ways to cope with your beavers. Thank you for posting such beautiful photos.

  8. Such beautiful happenings in your area! So exciting and serene at the same time.

  9. So difficult Penny - the dilemma between having beavers in your garden and protecting what you have! How wonderful for you to see them, amazing. You are so fortunate to have beautiful wildlife nearby. xx

  10. Thanks for sharing your photos and story, fascinating. I'm looking forward to your new designs.

  11. Oh my goodness! They are industrious aren't they? What a sweet treasure to find from the Rusty Pups. There's something spiritual there, isn't it? They remain in our hearts always.

  12. such an interesting read....too bad the beavers can't be your close neighbours, but of course you can't have flooding problems. Hope they find a place to call home real soon.

  13. Beavers are definitely one of the wonders of nature, but they can do a ton of damage. I hope Handy Hubby's wire solution will discourage them.

  14. Just had a delicious catch up on your blog posts Penny. Not only is your work breath takingly exquisite, but I love reading your thoughts & the way you move with the flow of seasons & time & the things that come unexpectedly into your space. You are truly inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your process & your work.


Thank you for taking the time to comment, your thoughts are most welcome.