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Jelly, jelly so fine

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Castor Canadensis


I mentioned the other day that I have been going down to the river a lot lately.  Number one, it's a good cardio workout climbing back up the hill, number two, its a timeout with my yellow lab, Maddie,  who needs pretty much constant attention, and number three, we have a large family of beaver living down there. 

 Back in the flood of '93, we saw seven sunning themselves on a rock at one time.

The story goes that the beaver were introduced to the Santa Margarita River in the 1930's and they have thrived in the still largely untouched habitat.  There's also large carp, as well as other assorted fish and tales of an indigenous red eye bass and steelhead to the west. Mountain lion frequent the range, as do bobcat, a rare golden eagle to the east, an occasional deer and other strange creatures.  Leslie saw a ferret in the garage a few months ago. I saw a fox once. Lots of skunks and raccoons. In 1983 I had a bighorn ram pass within an arms length of me. Herons, mockingbirds, jays, goldfinches and giant frogs for night music.  Friend said they saw a weasel recently.  Might have been two legged.

Anyhow I have been trying to get a decent shot of the beavers but it hasn't happened yet.  Got a tail splash the other day, a beaver signal of danger and a few shots today but my dumb battery ran out.  I am going to keep trying but this one is the best I can do for now. They are really quick for me.  Wait, wait , wait and then pow, they streak across the stream.

Beaver are the only remaining members of their family, Castoridae. They live in lodges that are wondrous constructions of nature.  I basically stand on the side of the lodge when I try to take their picture.  Beavers were considered the sacred center of the land by native americans because they create habitat for so many other species. Beaver was a god named Capa to the Lakota. Here's a mythological story concerning beaver, who was known as a male god of bounty.

Snoqualm was the Moon when all the world was in darkness, and he kept the Sun in a box.

Curious about Earth, he asked Spider to spin a rope and drop it down so he could go and take a look-see. Whilst he was doing this, BEAVER shinned up the rope and stole the sun box and fire-making tools.

The sun box was a bit heavy so it got abandoned in the sky, but the fire-making tools came in very handy on Earth. 

I hope to get some decent shots of these wonderful creatures.

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