Felled Trees and Beaver
Hoping to capture shots of wildlife, we paddled in and out of quiet coves, saw neither a single bird nor animal. We did, however, see signs of beaver. See photos below. Click, then click again to enlarge.
Many property owners around Smith Mountain Lake complain about the damage done by beavers. Some folks have lost nice trees they've planted near the shoreline. I have a friend whose weeping willow looked lovely one day. The next day it had vanished, except for the gnawed trunk. They replanted; lost another. And another.
I know beavers are considered pests, but I remember a February day several years ago when I stepped out on our deck and saw two beavers--Momma and Baby (called a kit)--climb up our bank. I hurried inside, grabbed my Olympus camera (I wore it out, too), and hurried back to the deck. The beavers shuffled around in the dry leaves and small scrub trees. I watched Momma chew off a small branch, nudge Baby, then drop back in the water; Baby followed. I snapped a few pictures. None are very good, but they help me remember.
The pair was almost out of camera range before Momma stopped swimming and faced Baby. For about 30 seconds, Momma and Baby "conversed." Fascinated, I continued to watch as both beavers swam back to the edge of the bank. Momma waited in the water while Baby climbed up the bank, gnawed off a twig, and returned to the lake. I missed those pictures, and wish I'd had time to set up a video camera for the whole event.
To learn more about beavers, visit the youtube sites below.