Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wild life

Is it life or is it wild (sorry Memorex). When a person remembers to put out a critter cam about 100 feet from the house just to see what creeps around when we are not looking, it can reveal all kinds of interesting things. The usual does walk on by of course.
A few days later you get the male of the species checking things out. "What was that perfume I caught a whiff of?"
But the real surprise was the sighting of a species that used to be extremely rare this far north. I saw one of these about 10 years ago and was so surprised I almost drove off the road. I hadn't seen one since I left the Twin Cities some 20 years before. This time, however, there were not one, not two, but three of the cute little monsters in a clump.
I heard it on good authority that a road-killed possum was seen by Two Harbors, which is only about 90 miles from here (south). More evidence of climate change, I would say.

So when I went to get the critter cam and look at what was on it, I took a stroll to the lower pond and noticed some beaver activity. Today I went to explore this a bit more and was surprised again (the great thing about low expectations is that I am rarely disappointed and often pleasantly surprised!). The beavers have been busy (no surprise there, however). They fear no tree.

What I found to be unusual though, was the beaver sense of art and design even though they are known for their great feats of engineering. It reminds me a bit of our friend Andie the engineer. While I knew she was a fairly brilliant engineer (also, kind, compassionate, and cute) she also has a degree in music. Back to the beavers after this slight digression. They apparently are more into sculpture than film or painting as you can see by this.
I think I'll go set up the critter cam by the ponds. I just need to be careful not to put it on a tree marked for destruction (or food or whatever) or one that will be hit by one falling. The beavers are actually dropping the trees where they want them. People with chainsaws are rarely as accurate unless they are professionals.
I'll keep you posted.


  1. I'd like to set one of these up so I could see what kind of human critters lurk outside my place. The beavers are amazing!

  2. Ok what a COOL idea?! A critter cam?! Never heard of such a thing, but WOW!!!!!!!!! The things that go on while we are sleeping!

  3. How exciting! We only get hedgehogs.

  4. Please set one up by the pond; I want to see the beavers at work.

  5. surprised that raccoons are rare. down here they are all over the place. ever see a wolverine?

  6. Our little dog seems to hear all of the night activity around here, but the idea of a camera to capture it is great. We also have had a lot of beavers at work, but they tend to find our newly planted trees, not the big old trees. We also have opossums and many, many raccoons. They leave their little footprints all along the river bank.

  7. The only wild critters we get in our back yard are sandhill cranes. They are really tall birds and can be quite curious, coming right up to me, making me afraid for my camera. Of course the cranes are much better than having alligators in the back yard.

    Can't wait to see your beaver pictures!

  8. I really want to get one of those night-cams! Great photos, and of course I love the raccoons.

    Love the photos of the beavers' handiwork, too. We have soooo many beavers around here. THey are always damming up the small river behind our farm!

  9. That beaver sculpture is tremendous. We get raccoons and then we get possums. One species spikes while the other wanes, and then it turns around the next year. And have you seen the work of the critter-cams that are slung from the collars of outdoor cats? Oh lordy do they kill a lot of wildlife. Don't get me and my indoor kitty started.