As we’ve been skiing and snowshoeing these last few weeks, we’ve been able to see solid evidence of deer: deer tracks! We’ve seen enough deer year round and plenty of droppings and certainly heard the gunshots in November, but tracks in the snow show us how close the deer have come, how many there are, and some of their trails.
As the snow gets deeper, it turns out the deer like our trails!
Not knowing which way to go, I follow the deer trail.
And after persisting on this trail
I came out into this opening and bedding area.
Big enough to aggressively slap its tail on our approach, rather than quietly slipping out of the way. Big enough to cut down and transport trees as much as 30 inches in diameter. Big enough to build dams more than 12 feet high.
According to LiveScience, the typical American beaver (Castor canadensis) weighs 60 pounds and is 23 to 39 inches (60 to 100 centimeters) long. The tail adds another 7.75 to 12 inches (20 to 30.5 cm) to its length,
A beaver is big enough to change an entire landscape. It is big enough to want to defend its territory against humans. It is big enough to be North America’s largest rodent.
Coming off the water
Deep into dusk,
We turn to watch
Ten geese plummet to Basin Pond,
Wind ruffling under their wings,
Lured by the swimming moon.