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Back to the Beaver Pond

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I didn't go back to what had been the beaver pond for a year. I couldn't bear it. One more happy place had been ripped out from under me.

My first trip back to Dean's Fork was March 15, 2015, but I stayed away from the pond. I took to walking the lower half, not wanting to know about the languishing, the drying up going on upstream.

The summer of 2015 wore on, and I stayed on the lower part of the road. I was drawn to Dean's. One destroyer couldn't keep me away for good.

I talked to Hannah and hugged her warm neck. It helped. But I missed that pond something terrible.

 I decided, if I could no longer visit the pond, to widen my horizons and find some new places that could help heal the million tiny cuts that life inflicts. I ventured down another road whose vistas set me free. It was a different kind of beauty from the roiling activity in the beaver pond. There were plants and birds and rocks and things...yellow-breasted chats and red-shouldered hawks, lots of deer and turkey, and an oak that was a book all by itself. A well-timed visit at sunrise when the mist was rising, and it was Middle Earth. I felt the music swelling in my soul. I found some healing there.

I'd take a look at the weather conditions (rising mist at dawn) or the bluesalmon clouds and say, "These would be best viewed from up on the ridge." And off I'd go to take it all in. 

And then in September, 2015, a year after the devastation, I went back to see what was happening at the beaver site.  And I was agog to find a beaver there, working to rebuild the dam. A place this good couldn't go unoccupied for long.

The breach in the dam had been built up about halfway to its former height (where all the jewelweed is growing tall.)

There was water, there were frogs, and there was a beaver there. Oh joy!

I made a little video of the beaver bringing mud to its creation. I could hardly breathe for the wonder of seeing it there. 

All that fall and winter of 2015, the dam remained at half height, and there was water just behind it, in the lower end. It was a good start, and it was beginning to be beautiful again. I wasn't sure what was going on--perhaps it wasn't raining enough for the beaver to want to raise the dam to its former height. But I was so glad it was there. The place just needs beavers. I never saw the beaver again after that one time. I feared the worst. But the dam didn't get ripped out again, so...

I was glad Hannah was there, too, giving life to the middle stretch of this beloved road. I'd go check on the pond, and then I'd go visit my dappled girl.

For her part, Hannah was fascinated with Chet, and she'd follow him, nose down and tail up, and frisk when she caught his scent.  

The pond was small, yes, but it was more present than before. 

October 15, 2015

October 22, 2015

November 18, 2015
November 18, 2015

The little half-dam would hold the pond through the winter of 2015-16, and I was glad. But the story of the pond was not yet over.  (It never will be). 


The first tree photo takes my breath away. wow, wow, wow! So happy you got to see the beaver in action. Resilience. Thanks for creating this series, for all the paying attention you then share with us. Kim in PA

When I read this it seemed as if I was walking with you. Beautiful descriptions. Those words -- bluesalmon clouds -- oh my.

Ah, but your horse HAS a name...

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