Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Loch Ness Beaver


Last night I spotted a beaver on the lake. It was my first ever in my life time of visiting a land where beavers are known as pests. I have longed for this sighting and despite my having a very good camera, in my hand at the time, I was not able to bag a decent photo.
I was standing on the walkway over the front of the house facing the lake. It was dusk and the lake was very still, with the reflection of trees and clouds and the silhouettes of trees naked in the winter air looking like sculpture. I saw something moving in the water, leaving a wake behind it. I tried to find the silhouette of a Loon, (there was a pair last weekend, still hanging around) but I could not find it. I looked through the camera lens. At 10X optical zoom I could not tell what it was, but I began to wonder if it was a fast moving water creature that was pushing a stick or a branch through the water....hmmmm....whatever could that be? My camera has an additional 10x digital zoom, but then the picture bounces around alot, and I was trying to shoot between trees, at dusk, on the water....it was a nightmare. What I wound up getting was THE LOCH NESS BEAVER. An out of focus, shadowy water creature. I am 99% sure it is a beaver. The more I look at the shadows, the more I can see the shape of the head, the dark place where the ears should be and the branch being pushed ahead of the little aquatic engineer.

I did try to get closer. I was standing on the outside walkway in my crocs, no socks, a t-shirt and pajama pants. I took off, trying not to slip on the ice (yes ICE) that was the result of the snow melting the day before (yes SNOW) I scurried down the hillside toward the water, making as much noise as a heard of bear doing a jig. The beaver heard me obviously, and moved further out into the water and was heading down stream fast. I tried to follow along the shore line, but I was ill equipped to trudge through leaves, and fallen trees and rough terrain. I was also frozen! Crocs without socks and PJs....not exactly the best gear for hunting.

I am posting the picture with my apologies for the lack of detail and I swear it is a beaver moving swiftly down stream to the enormous den I know is just around the bend.

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