Made without an off switch

We came to the moraine for beavers but I am again seduced by sacks of rain and calm water reflections of fading beauty.  Weathermen promised us broken clouds and sun but that requires a vigorous wind. We have only calm and clouds that threaten to melt rather than move.

I want to head straight down to the beaver village but Aki lobbies for a detour through the Troll Woods. Maybe she senses flooded trail ahead or scents a bear. After stopping to watch little bags of moisture fall onto lake water from yellowing grass I follow her into the woods.

Explosions of mushrooms threaten to displace moss on the forest floor. Some form up facing chalices to hold last night’s rain. I want to study the reflections of golden brown flesh reflected in captured water but Aki urges me to move on. Such a jumpy thing today. On the way out of the woods we pass a freshly made black bear track pushed deep into trail mud. “Okay, I get it.”

Approaching the beaver village we can see that man is losing control of the battlefield.  The beavers have rebuilt the big dam down stream of the one man hoped would block fish access from the outlet stream into the lake.  Water now flows over the upper dam. In a few more nights work and the beaver’s lower dam will grow high enough to back water up and over man’s upper dam and flood the man made trails. Then Aki and I won’t be able to use the upper dam to reach beaver town. In a leap Aki joins me on their side of their stream and we begin negotiating the obstacle course beavers formed from fallen cottonwood trees.

Aki stays close as we approach the huge beaver house and then follow their logging trails around to the top end of the lake.  They have cut down every softwood tree within 100 feet of the lake. Some down trunks show fresh wounds were beavers peeled off bark. Others rot untouched.  Why were they made without an off switch?


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