Thursday, March 31, 2005

Beaver day

We had a nice homeschool field trip today. We got together at the home of a family that lives near a beaver habitat. We watched a National Geographic video "Rocky Mountain Beaver" or some such title, then had a potluck lunch and headed out to see the work the local beavers had been up to recently.

Things were very mucky, snowy and wet, but we walked along the trail beside beaver dams and marshes and saw tons and tons of beaver handiwork. We were at a small lake where it drains into one of the main creeks that feed our large (Slocan) lake, leading us to wonder if the beaver-gnawed sticks we'd discovered at the GRUBS beach were from that very spot.

Alas no live beavers were seen, but that was no surprise as they're mostly nocturnal. Interestingly, the video suggested that they hadn't been nocturnal until the advent of extensive human hunting. Sophie got lots of snow in her rubber boots and turned back early. She discovered some dry socks in her pocket at just the right (miserable) moment so all was well. Erin and Noah got mucky and wet and rosy-cheeked. I carried Fiona most of the way, and she cuddled inside my jacket like a little marmoset. Those visceral experiences with spring are so memorable.

We also collected some pussywillows, got to meet some Curly Horses, saw a large bat-house that in the summer houses at least 350 bats, and visited with all the chickens and ducks at the farm. Spring feels like it's really taking hold.

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