Saturday, April 30, 2011

Beaver and bat

I want to record our first sighting this summer of a beaver swimming in the Rideau River, as we were walking home through the parks at sunset this evening. It was quite a bulky animal, busy chewing the juicy twig tips or buds of a large tree that had fallen into the water in the course of last week's gale. (Beside Stanley Avenue we'd found another large tree, a Manitoba maple, uprooted and felled by the wind.) Having heard us, perhaps, the beaver was distracted and lost hold of the twigs, at which point the current of the river swept it backwards. Or perhaps it just let itself be carried along; anyhow that's the first time I've seen a beaver fail to swim in the way it was pointing. After a moment we observed the head and sleek body moving diagonally and purposefully across the river to the opposite bank, a characteristic V of ripples in its wake.

Further along the path by the poplar trees opposite Maple Island as we stopped to talk to a couple of friends a bat flitted around above our heads, which means the mosquitoes and moths must be out now, in the calm evening sky.

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