The Beaver Artist

Elmer the husky and I typically take our second walk in the morning on a designated trail through and around a wetlands area. I hardly ever see anyone else there.

We encounter all manner of avian life on this trail and I find I’m writing a lot in my head on this particular walk, particularly a book about the legendary runner Steve Prefontaine that lately has emerged the way Pre ran. I hope to have it out this fall.

What makes this walk especially marvelous is a treed riparian section of the trail near a small lake that beavers have chewed to bits down to the lake’s edge. And I’m not talking about mere willows; I am talking big hardwood trees. One tree in particular, (pictured here) is like an ongoing art installation by a master bucktoothed sculptor. A beaver keeps gnawing and gnawing it. I see fresh chips every morning and it’s been going on for weeks. At some point, the beaver will fell the tree and that will delight me to no end to come upon the completed of the art installation.

If a beaver fells a tree in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?