Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Today driving into work, I saw a dead beaver on the side of the road. I have seen dead raccoon, opossum, fox, birds (from seagulls to sparrows), dogs, cats, deer, frogs, woodchucks, rats, mice, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, chipmunks... but this is the first time I've seen a beaver roadkill.

I know that beaver traverse the canal - I've seen evidence of their presence all over the place. I wonder what made this one decide to cross the road?

I used to volunteer at Tifft Nature Preserve as a guide for schools and scouts and other groups who came down to learn more about nature. I used to love giving tours... I'd probably still be volunteering if I hadn't moved so far away. It is so wonderful to have such a big space with the diversity Tifft has to offer, right in the city of Buffalo. There is no bad time of year to visit Tifft. Here's a link to Tifft's Photo Blog, if you're interested.

Anyway, I remember the beaver (plural) who occupied the area - one day I'd be there and you'd never know there were beaver around. A few days later I'd be taking a group though and we'd find a small stand of trees gone with nothing but stumps and wood shavings on the ground. I used to love seeking out the newest activity every time I was there. It always amazed me how much a beaver can take down in such a short amount of time.

We had three beaver lodges at Tifft when I volunteered there. I think only two of them were active at the time.

I've sat near lodges - not at Tifft, we weren't allowed there after dark except for special occasions - a few times and watched the beaver come out for the night. I could see them, but it was always too dark for any good pictures. Being the elusive creatures they are, it gave me a thrill when I sited some.

I like seeing them alive much better than as roadkill.

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