don't 'leave it to beaver'!

Let me begin by apologizing for the cheesy title. There were several titles I (Jenn) considered using but didn't want to offend anyone. Another preface I must add is that I have a great appreciation for nature and the great outdoors. I grew up watching 'Wild America' with Marty Stouffer, I've gone fishing in Alaska (and caught my own rainbow trout!), I've visited Yellowstone and practiced my elk call....it worked and produced a scary scene of stampeeding elk toward our car - no joke - and I had a pet wood-duck named, well, 'Woody'. My parents instilled in me a heart for God's creation and the natural world around us. So, without further explaining my affinity for the great outdoor's I will begin the reason for this entry today.

About a year ago Chris was in the backyard and noticed a half-axed tree that was just off of our property. After further inspection by Chris's dad we discovered that the tree was not a victim of a teen's foul-play but rather the work of a beaver! "In Matthews, NC?" we thought. It just so happens that the slimy pond in our neighboorhood is fed by 12 Mile Creek which runs along the backside of our yard, roughly 5 feet from our fence. This marks our backyard as prime property for Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. Fast forward until a month ago. After several days of rain we began to notice that water was collecting in a large pond-like form uncomfortably close to our fence. We discovered that we had a real-life beaver dam in our back yard!! After the excitement of having something from nature so close wore off, we determined that this wasn't a welcomed situation. 1) breeding of mosquitos 2) kayna's safety 3) well, this will be filled in when you read the rest of the story.

Keeping with the theme of nature, I was looking out the sunroom last Tuesday and I saw a deer walking along the creek. I watched the deer as she peacefully ate leaves from some bushes then I went to refill my coffee cup and get Kayna up for the morning. By the time I went to check on the deer I noticed that the landscape had been altered. A tree had FALLEN DOWN over our fence in a matter of 20 minutes! I could see raw wood chips at the base of a naked tree trunk and knew instantly that this was the work of the beavers. Thus, this fulfills #3 from above, fallen trees!

I won't go into much more detail but I will say that I saw some police officers in our neighborhood last week and stopped to ask them what we should do about a beaver dam in our backyard. The officer told us that we needed to call wildlife and then with a serious tone warned that "beaver's are protected animals and you cannot tamper with them or their dams". My response, "Well, I sure am glad I asked you!" Crap! I thought. Now we have to wait for the beaver to repair where we released some water the other day. Sure enough, beaver's are efficient animals and the dam looks good.

Here we are now waiting for a call back from Wildlife Control to come remove Mr. and Mrs. Beaver while we brace and hope that we don't wake up to more fallen trees in our yard or on our house.

I've posted some pictures because its hard to believe without seeing. The one of Kayna and me was taken when we still thought it was a novelty to have nature so close to home.

One friend suggested that we watch Narnia again for an appreciation of beavers....good thought.