Monday, 30 September 2013

The Tawatinaw River Monster

It was a sad, but beautiful morning at the kennel this morning. Sad because Julia headed back to Connecticut, beautiful because....well beautiful because it is always beautiful here at the kennel!! At least in my opinion!

As it has been every day for the last few weeks, it was cold - cold enough that I had to break out a hat and neckwarmer!!!

As the dogs and I did our first loops and zig zags through our land a big bank of cold, icy fog moved in!

I love the quiet that the fog brings. Yes, our corner of the world is already very quiet, but the fog brings a certain peacefulness, similar to that after a fresh snowfall!! Love it!

We headed down the trail to the river.

The past couple weeks it has become apparent that there is some sort of creature living in the area of the river where we water the team most mornings.

The dogs are always hyper alert, ears up and if allowed will start exploring the banks of the river, obviously on the track of something.

Saturday's team, led by Kelly and See, obviously alert to something!

Julia and I have scoured the banks looking for the resident to know avail. It has actually become a bit creepy to know something (obviously brave - and 'prey' animals don't tend to the 'brave') is around and watching, but not knowing what it is.
Not near creepy enough though to alter our route - or lessen my enjoyment of visiting that spot.

The trail that drops into the river is pretty washed out and my leaders actually hit the water without my being able to see them. I generally call out a 'haw' as they plunge over the bank and 99 percent of the time things go well and we end up where we need to be (yes, they are good dogs!).

This morning was no different. We plunged over the edge, I called out 'haw' and See and Kelly placed the team right where I needed them to be. With the ATV sitting in the water behind them, I stopped to snap a couple pictures of them nicely lined out getting a drink.

All of a sudden RIGHT next to my right foot there was a BIG splash. If I said I didn't jump right out of my skin, my nose might grow.
Although the river is a couple feet deep where I was, it isn't consistently deep and there are no fish of substance to be found!
I scanned the river and could see something large and dark just under the surface. Then two little eyeballs broke the surface and swiveled in my direction. It was a beaver - a very bold beaver. He had swum to within a couple inches of the ATV and my foot before splashing and swimming away a few feet away.

He splashed again and swum just under the surface to the bank. I scrambled for my camera and managed to snap one bad photo before he nonchalantly dove again.

I would have loved to have tried for a better shot, but by now it was starting to occur to the team that there might be something other then just us around. An encounter between 16 strong sled dogs and a beaver was not likely to end well for anyone.

I called them up and headed out.

I'm not sure how that whole encounter went so well. I can't actually picture where that beaver was when the team dropped onto the river that they didn't see/smell him and he was able to get up to me so quickly and quietly. The team actually goes into the water right where the he first surfaced and scared me.

Always grateful for wildlife encounters that end up as a lovely memory rather then a nightmare! They really can go either way at anytime!

1 comment:

bill gaspar said...