I discovered something that was really uplifting and surprising yesterday.
At day’s end I traveled back through the Mt. Richmond Forest with a sense of satisfaction – and fatigue – from having planted the last of the 2,200 seedlings that we’ve planted this winter.
Pausing by the “Beaver Pond” wetland I reflected on how different it feels to visit the spot since all of the resident beaver mysteriously disappeared from the pond and forest about five years ago. Though we have hypothesis, the puzzle of the cause remains unsolved. Reflecting on this sadness I somehow decided to dismount from my “iron pony” and hobble over to where the stream flows out of the pond. Drawing closer, something caught my eye – “isn’t that a low dam blocking the outlet – with freshly cut, green reeds woven into the sticks? Could it be…..?”
A closer look persuaded me that nothing could have made this – other than a beaver. Looking further around the wetland my conclusion was verified by finding this….
After five years of lamenting the loss and considering options for reintroduction, the problem has solved itself. What is remarkable is that this beaver (could there be 2?!) had to cross some seriously inhospitable terrain. From the nearest beaver habitat in the Tualatin River, it had to navigate roughly a mile of open, unvegetated ditch through industrial farmland, climb up a steep stream through pastureland, and find its way through another half mile of forestland that we recently bought from the neighbors. Go Beevs!
Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I am surprised by how much my winter weary spirits have been lifted by discovering that the forest’s wetland habitat is once again home to a beaver – and that the “Beaver Pond” once again deserves its name.