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beaver tale

<< May 17, 2005 @ 23:58 >>

I was gonna see a movie with Emily tonight, but she then wanted me to watch TV with Malory and her instead because they had some can't-miss line up going on. It was suddenly sunny and warm so I opted for neither and went down by the river.

I poked around my usual spots. I went across a little stream into the area between two of the A Mill's tailraces. There was a rusted out pipe going into the hill on the other side, and I don't know if I've ever noticed this pipe before, but now it actually had a blue tarp inside acting as a makeshift door. I wonder if anybody was home. There was also a tree chewed at beaver height all the way around its circumference, but not through, so it was still standing. This past Fall I actually saw trees that had been chewed down by beavers and then milled into smaller segments. I unfortunately didn't have my camera on me today like I did that Fall day. I was wondering just now how the beavers can move such big logs, especially such distances (as there is no dam at these tailraces), but now I've just realised the obvious: they dump the logs into the water below and float them to their dam.

I kept walking around. I walked across the bridge that gives you a view of this fake concrete waterfall that is an outlet from the hydro plant, and there it was: the damn dam I was looking for. It wasn't there, or at least wasn't developed enough to be noticeable, just the few weeks ago that Di and I were walking around down there. Now, though, it is quite large. There are many big logs as well as a hefty pat of twigs and mud with an actual still pool behind the dam. It forms secondary waterfalls over the logs just after the man-made waterfall. The stupid beavers built it right there at the base of the rushing water coming off the concrete. I was reading at the Wikipedia that apparently beavers will build dams if they hear rushing water, even if it is just a tape recording of rushing water. Wow, talk about OCD. I went down for a closer look on either side of the dam, and while I didn't see any beavers, there were fishbones and clam shells strewn about.

I found a back way to the Aztec-like mural from the beaver dam, and from there headed back to the beaten path. To get there one has to cross this little stream that flows mysterious out of a solid cinderblock wall, leaving a trail of bright orange rust in its wake. Everywhere the water flows is covered with rust. Something big and iron behind the cinderblock wall is being washed onto the other side. There were three mallard ducks just maybe 100 feet away digging around in the muck. I think they got their daily recommended amount of iron.

I went a little further on the beaten path to where Di and I had seen the crane last time, and there was a woman playing fetch with rocks in the water with her big German Shepherd. The dog wasn't too sure of me.

At some point I had ventured away from where the beaver dam was and noticed it was getting later into the evening, and that nobody else had been around for awhile, so I went back quietly hoping to spot one of nature's little lumberjacks. I was standing on the bridge and there was movement. Suddenly I was really excited. Wait: ringed tail, mask... it was a racoon! Not as cool as a beaver, but pretty slick anyway. Not a moment after my brain identified the furry little crook did I notice something bigger and darker moving off into the woods behind the racoon. I couldn't get a good enough look from where I was to have a guess as to what it was. Maybe another racoon, maybe a beaver.

Anyway, it was very fun to watch as the racoon methodically sniffed and reached into every nook and cranny of the beaver dam looking for a snack. The waterfall was loud enough that it had no chance of hearing me. The whole time I was searching for a name... Stripey? Maskface? Bitey?

I decided I'd try to get closer, so I crossed the bridge and walked squatted-down towards the dam Racoon (sic). I got about twice as close and watched for another minute or so when it started to sniff the air. Sniff. Look. Sniff. Look. Finally it figured out the direction and looked right into my eyes. I didn't move, and it didn't move for a few more seconds, and then it finally decided it didn't like me and scurried off into the brush. This is when I decided I would name him Sniffy. Sniffy-Lyle, after Di's cooncat.

I made one more attempt at leaving and coming back, hoping to spot Sniffy or a walking chainsaw, but neither were in sight. Once I got back up to the street I noticed something flying not far overhead: a brown bat. It was a cute little flittering thing, darting around randomly. You could very clearly make out the distinct bat wings against the still-very-light evening sky.

Just across the street there was some sort of event happening in the building between the old A-Mill and that weird building with the 3 red stone cylinders. They are going to be either building new condos or converting the existing buildings, and there was some sort of opening gala with valet parking and bad live jazz music. I happened to catch the skunk-haired old waitress from Nye's walk on by down the road. I wonder if she's frazzled from the shooting.

To complete the nature trifecta, there happens to be a robin living in a nest on the light next to our door at home here. When I ran out to my car tonight after I'd been home awhile, I scared the shit out of the poor robin literally... it shat on my leg.

What does a fish say when it runs into a wall?


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May 18, 2005 @ 16:10:20

muffin.pngxz (#1006)

i'm so jealous! beavers are amazing.

i'm reading The Ancestor's Tale by Dawkins which is all about evolution. in it i learn that the lake formed from a beaver's dam is the largest example of a phenotype in the world. (the definition of phenotype being "the expression of a gene" or something. i'm not a scientist.)

we don't have beavers here. we have hippies. luckily, i do not believe being a hippie is genetic.

May 19, 2005 @ 09:52:59

marilyn.pngsith33 (#999)

Did anyone catch Fresh Air on NPR last night? Terry was interviewing this nutter who was explaining that evolution is responsible for facism, nazi-ism, communism, feminism, Kinsey, the Khmer Rogue, Mao, and a whole host of other things. And he wasn't saying "because of evolution, humanity evolved from apes and eventually came up with Lenin" but rather "because of Darwin, folks are evil and we should just teach Creation in schools."

Crusades anyone?

(Hitler called himself a Christian too)

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