Shingle Springs, California
February 26, 2009 12:53pm CST
We have this little stream that runs through our neighborhood. The other day I was taking a walk and I saw that a tree had been felled, not with a straight cut like with an axe or a saw, but sharpened to a point like a beaver. Then I saw another one and, a bit farther, a few more. The stream had been dammed a way downstream with branches. Beavers? Very cool although I saw no other sign of beavers or a beaver lodge. What interesting things do you see when you take a walk?
• United States
26 Feb 09
That reminds me of a local incident that made the papers and was all over the local news a few yrs back. I live very close to the Mississippi River and along the river there is a road and a marina and several very nice restaurants with beautifully manicured topiaries and gardens. Reports started to surface of vandals chopping down some of the smaller trees in the gardens. It was very upsetting to everyone because it truly is some beautiful landscaping. The reports continued for several days, more and more trees were disappearing. One night as someone was driving down the road very near the garden they spot a large "creature" dragging a small tree across the road in the wee hours of the morning. The "creature" was described as a 4 legged animal the size of a medium size dog but heavier around the middle. The rumors kept getting more and more strange and trees kept disappearing night after night. Eventually after about 2 weeks the rumors were that the "monster" was the size of a Bigfoot and was taking down full grown oak trees! A friend of mine picked me up one afternoon and said we should go down to the river and take a look at the carnage. The damage was obvious, small tree stumps sticking out of the ground with wood chips surrounding them and many of the beautifully sculptured trees were gone. When I got out of the car to take a closer look I just about fell over laughing. BEAVER! was the first thing that came out of my mouth! The "monster" everyone is so terrified about is nothing but a beaver! Now beaver are not common to this area, especially this part of the river. So my friend looked at me like I was crazy. I told her I don't care what everyone is saying this is nothing but a beaver and showing my friend the teeth marks she agreed with me and got a good laugh out of it as well. The local police called in the local Fish and Game authorities who set up some box traps and within a few days caught the beaver alive and well. Thank goodness the local tv station was also there when they pulled the trap up from the bank of the river and they got him on tape. That night they told the story of how the "monster" had been caught and they had discovered where he'd stashed all those trees. Frankly seeing him on the news, he was a monster! Even the game warden said this beaver was unusually large. They loaded him up in a truck, took him to a vet who gave him a clean bill of health then they delivered him safely to an area where beaver are common to live out a happy and healthy life with his fellow beaver buddies. All I could think of was how stupid some of these people were who said they saw a "monster" and I hope they were properly embarrassed for their over-exaggeration. Living by the river for most of my life I have seen several bizarre things and many wonderful things. One of my favorite yearly sites is the hundreds of bald eagles who make a stop by our town every winter. My closest encounter was about 12 yrs ago. I went out to get the mail and I heard a scratching sound in the tree overhanging the mail box. I looked up to see this gorgeous bald eagle not 8 feet away just sitting there watching me watching him. I was so awestruck I couldn't move. I've seen them flying overhead and fishing in the river hundreds of times but this was the closest I'd ever been to one. Wow are they stunningly beautiful. We stared at each other for about 3 minutes before he decided to take off back down to the river. I sure wish I'd had a camera with me but I'll never forget it. Also when I lived for 3 yrs out in Colorado and being an avid outdoors person at the time I had several close encounters with a variety of wildlife which were awesome and occasionally scary as hell. I don't often get out to walk anymore since arthritis and Fibromyalgia keeps me from being able to walk very far now but those encounters are forever burned into my brain as fantastic experiences.