Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Watching A Beaver Take A Slam Dunk

 John, thanks for the great story and better yet, the laughs! 😂

Credit/ John Reinke
Recently, I was out stretching my legs along the Sammamish River Trail here in Redmond.  Heading north, I was a couple hundred yards south of the "rusty pedestrian bridge" that crosses the river where NW 100th Street would be, if it existed.
Glancing out over the water, I noticed something plowing upstream against the current.  It was too far away to make out what it was, but I suspected it might be a muskrat, which I have occasionally seen in this area.
It was swimming steadily toward me when I suddenly hear a loud "thwack", and saw the creature's hind legs suddenly rise straight up into the air, before immediately sliding down beneath the roiling water.  (I guess we could call it a “slam dunk”…)
It soon surfaced and continued paddling toward me.  I knew it had to be a beaver.  It was heading in toward the near shoreline, where it would soon be lost from view beneath the bushes lining the water's edge.
After being lost from view for several seconds, the beaver again made a loud smacking sound and edged back toward the middle of the channel where I could see it.
Credit/ John Reinke
The beaver then veered back in underneath the vegetation at the shoreline, and I didn't see it again after that.  
I don't know what caused it to slap its tail twice.  Possibly it was meant to communicate his presence to other beavers that might be in the area.  This is the first beaver I have seen in the Sammamish River in quite awhile.
However, one can easily find examples of trees up and down along the river that have been felled by beavers in recent years.  
Attached is a photo of one such tree (still standing at the time I took the photo in April) that is located close to the rusty bridge, which you can see in the background.  The beaver  may well have been responsible for this handiwork (or should I say mouthiwork ...  that's something for you to chew on).
Finally, let me say that if I were a beaver, I'd give a dam, or at least try to make one! 

-- John Reinke  

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