Seeing an actual beaver may be as elusive as finding re-runs of that favorite '60s and '70s TV show (1957-1963), since we don't have Nick at Night or TV Land on our satellite television subscription.
If I could find my local beaver, he wouldn't look a thing like Jerry Mathers. Instead, he might look something like this:
|Photo from Wilderness Classroom|
The beavers also left their calling card much closer to the road. They are mighty productive - or destructive - depending upon how you look at it. During the past three years, we've watched their progress on felling a tree. Since it's near the entrance to the pasture and to where the guys load up silage in the winter, we've witnessed the beavers' prowess - even though we never see them.
Randy first showed me the tree in January 2011.
|January 1, 2011|
|January 4, 2012|
Beavers' ability to change the landscape is second only to humans. That is just one reason why we find the flat-tailed species fascinating. While some beaver behavior is instinctive, they also learn by imitation and from experience. Dr. Donald Griffin, the father of animal cognition, has said, "When we think of the kinds of animal behavior that suggest conscious thinking, the beaver comes naturally to mind."