Backpacking & Outside / {Grateful}

As a kid, I had a fascination with researching one specific animal.  Specifically, I obsessed with penguins for a couple years and then with raccoons for a while.  We would go to the library and I would get a huge stack of children’s books about that animal.  I suspect that I probably drove my family a little crazy with the random facts I learned about these animals–especially the raccoons.  Raccoons ripped a big hole in the screen porch of my parents tent while we were camping once (they did it in the middle of the night while we were sleeping in the tent–rascals).   I think my parents are still bitter.

In a throw back, to my childhood, I’ve reverted to my single animal fascination.

The current animal?  Beavers.  Or Castor canadensis.

So, if you don’t want to learn anything about beavers, please stop reading.  Also, for the record, I did not get any information from Wikipedia.  I relied on National Geographic and  I wish I could have gone to the library with my mom, but that’s not possible.  Maybe she’ll take me in a few weeks.  I wonder if there is still a huge fish tank in the children’s area…


Beaver Factoid: Beavers are second only to humans in their ability to manipulate and change their environment.

Proof: Jared and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon and saw these trees near the trail.

Beaver Factoid: Beavers mate for life, unless their mate dies.  Then, they might take another mate.
Factoid: this picture has nothing to do with beavers.  I just took it on our walk.

Beaver Factoid: Beaver homes are called lodges.  The group name for beavers is “colony”.

If you visit,  the National Geographic page and click on the audio button, you can listen to the sounds of the beaver.  They might surprise you!

Jared, contemplating all that is, beaver.  Perhaps he’s reflecting on the fact that they can remain underwater for 15 minutes and have a set of transparent eyelids that they use underwater, that work like built-in goggles.  Or, maybe he’s contemplating that their fur is naturally oily and waterproof.

Beaver Factoid: Beavers can swim up to five miles per hour.  Their hind feet are webbed and are used for propulsion while their unique tail is used like a rudder, for steering.

Beaver Factoid: Baby beavers, or kits, leave home at about two years old.  Adult beavers have been known to come back and visit their parents.  Beavers can live up to 24 years old.

This snack looked pretty fresh!
This concludes our beaver introduction for today.  Class dismissed.
Ummm… maybe I need to go back to school or do something productive with my brain, eh?

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