A card, painted with watercolor on real paper birch bark, made for my mother in 1988.
The Beaver is an amazing animal.
I have always been impressed with their talented tails, teeth and overall energy. They can transform an environment in a very intentional way, just like humans do.
Near my cabin in Vermont is an extensive beaver-created environment. Every time I visit it seems bigger and more complex. I never see the beavers themselves. They are nocturnal and secretive, but their handiwork is everywhere.
They are capable of taking down huge trees and can peel a stick of bark as neat as you please!
All this work goes into dam building to enlarge their pond area.
In this drawing you can clearly see the different levels that the low beaver dams create. And here are real dams from my hike yesterday.
Despite being made of nothing but sticks and mud, the dams become firm enough to walk on.
Their other project is the Beaver Lodge.
The lodge is cleverly entered only from underwater.
So when Baby Bear hears “clapping,” he runs through the reeds to find a beaver pond with lodge and dam and three busy, building beavers, gathering twigs and bark before winter comes.