The Haunt of the Castor

One evening, during our time in Quebec, we had been shown a small pool in the forest close to where we were staying. Although the pool was not too far from a major road I found it a quite magical place and wanted to return the next afternoon when there was more light.

The pool had been formed by Beavers damming a small stream. The lodge and dam were wonderful constructions of sticks and mud. A whole eco-system had evolved around the formation of the lake behind the dam. Dragonflies of weird and wonderful colours danced around the water’s edge. A Merlin above us clutched the larger dragonflies from the air and returned each time to his perch where he nipped off the wings before eating the body. Cedar Waxwings were fly catching; sallowing out from the top of the dead pines in upward sweeping arcs to catch insects then returning to their favoured perch. A young Bald Eagle sat on a floating log that sank a little dipping his tail into the water. The loud cackling call of a Belted Kingfisher rang out as he flew by an arm’s length away.

Amid all this the engineer himself arrived; moving through the water like a living submarine he formed a wake that rippled the reflection of the lakeside trees. I followed him as quietly as I could until he disappeared into rushes where I couldn’t follow. Quite a magical place.

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Sep 2012


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