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Sacred Surprise

Friday, June 12, 2020

May 25 was one heck of a day. I got out early because it was going to be hot. I wanted to see what was going on down Dean's Fork. As I trotted along, I heard the twanging "glunk!" of green frogs. I hadn't heard that down there for several years, not since someone who shall remain nameless took out the beaver dam with a backhoe and killed the beavers who'd made a watery paradise there. Illegally, I'd add. Trespassing, and acting against the express wishes of the landowner, who wants the beavers left alone. Murdered the beavers, destroyed their home and the homes of countless other aquatic creatures, just because he could get away with it. They weren't hurting a thing in the world there. 

Cautiously, I moved forward, calling Curtis to me. And I saw...water. Lots of water. THE BEAVERS ARE BACK!!!

This is the fullest I've ever seen it, with the most magnificent sweeping curve of a dam. These photos can't really capture the scale of it. It's BIG. big big big.

I was so glad to see a pond where there had been an overgrown mudflat, I wept. And my next, immediate thought was, "I have to stop him from killing them again."

It was a drumbeat in my head. How to stop him? 

Suffice it to say that I've been working on it, through carefully placed conversations with key witnesses, through the best channels I have. Tracking down the involved parties, hearing their stories. I've been busy, working with dogged determination and a cruel and insensate devil breathing down my neck.

With the great joy that this beaver pond brings me comes a great responsibility to try my best to keep the furry architects safe. I cannot bear the thought that they'd be shot again and their beautiful creation ruined. This incredible pond! It's alive with fish and frogs (four species were calling as I made these photos) and turtles and green and great blue herons and belted kingfishers and red-shouldered hawks and wood ducks and who knows what all else.  Later on, dragonflies! And they all lose their beautiful watery home when the dam is ruined and the pond is drained. 

Say a prayer, an incantation, whatever you've got, to help me on this crusade. This is the best habitat I know, and I get around a lot of great habitat. It is sacred to me. Curtis and I decided to return in the evening with Phoebe and Liam, to surprise them with the new pond. 

Though Curtis and I already had about 5 miles under our belts, I really wanted Phoebe and Liam to see this. So that evening we set out. I didn't tell them what the surprise was. I just said there was something I wanted them to hear. (It was the clunking of green frogs, in a pond that once again existed).

They were delighted to see water in the pond again, and when we came back up after dusk had fallen, we saw the beaver gliding along in his new self-made home. Ohhh it was so beautiful, with the frogs (gray tree, green, mountain chorus and spring peeper) trilling and clunking all around us in the dark.

Pray with me that I can save this precious habitat. I honestly don't know if I can, but I'm trying. 

Hear a catbird and a wood thrush sing hosanna as this beaver floats past, checking me and Curtis out.

And Curtis, the best boy on earth, never made a sound, never pulled the leash, stayed respectful and silent as the beaver floated up to us. I'm so grateful for this dog, who intuits what I need from him. And grateful for these animals and this place, which saves me, even as I lie awake at night trying to figure out how to save it.


Prayers that this can be for all.

Trail Cams. Post very visible No Trespassing signs. Is there any way to block the view where said miscreant (and I use that term only because other language would be far to colorful for public consumption) would discover it?

You & beavers!! Arron my prayer list. Btw. Need you home (PO type addresss. ) want to Mailyou something.

Is this on your land? The suggestion above--trail cams; no trespassing sign--seem reasonable.
Here's hoping for the safety of the beavers.
As Shakespeare has Hamlet muse: "what a piece of work is man!"

Prayers going up right now. Keep us posted!

Perhaps a visit from game wardens or sheriff’s deputies would deter the perpetrators from repeating this crime. And a feel good story on the local news channel might stir up enough public awareness and peer pressure to stop them. Or a sign that states that charges will be pressed, please smile for our trail cameras.

What Phoggy said.... prayers, and lawyer?

Wonderful, heart-warming post! Keep fighting the good fight -- our prayers are with you.

Very magical! I love watching beavers! They are a keystone species. Good luck in keeping them there and protecting them! I hope you are successful! I am so impressed with Curtis! he has come a long way with your patience and training!

Such a truly fabulous sight. Here's hoping they thrive as they deserve to. Incredible creatures. Once sat by a large pond in Maine watching a beaver family at work & play--it was clear from their behavior who the grandparents were, and of course the young ones, who kept wanting to see what I was, & were repeatedly called back from the potential danger of getting too close to a human. When I finally acknowledged I really couldn't see anymore in the gathering darkness, my movement brought a rustle that I realized was a fox who had been there too for a long time.

Ahhhh they're back. We are all in tears. You will prevail because all the powers of good are on your side. Maybe post Signs that say hidden bombs will detonate?

Sending good vibes that you can keep this beautiful place.

I’m with Phoggy. Is the landowner willing to do anything? Are there no lawyers in your list of fans? DEC personnel?

Such a lovely story of hope! My prayers go with you. These amazing animals deserve to live their lives freely and undisturbed. Good luck with protecting them.
Greetings from Sri Lanka!

Best of luck with this one. Perhaps there is an endangered species lurking in this little habitat that could have it declared protected? Beavers are wonderful creators of wetland habitat for so many species.

Good boy Curtis!

Thank you, Julie, for this report (as always). Pull every string you've got among your friends and acquaintances, as others have suggested. And may the Force (of Nature) be with you in this effort.

Please be careful on your crusade. Only the most vicious and cruel person would kill innocent animals and destroy their habitats. Keep Curtis close for both your safety. I pray you are successful and the beavers remain in their bliss. God bless you for the work you do.

If the decision-makers read, ask them to read this book: Eager: The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Mater, by Ben Goldfar. Link here: .

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