(Double click on the photos to enlarge them to full screen.)
I was paddling around an area of Tern Lake where I seldom go. The lake was flat calm and white puffy seeds from cotton grass floated on its surface.
As I came around the tip of one island, I spotted a small wake on the water. I was pretty sure I knew what it was, but I hadn't seen a beaver in this water for many years, though I am aware of two abandoned beaver lodges on the lake.
It certainly was too big to be a muskrat.
Oh, yeah. Way too big to be a muskrat.
Then it spotted me. And there was a lot of this splashing going on for a while as I watched.
A bit farther around the island I saw its new lodge.
Here's a close-up showing how the beaver uses mud to hold everything together.
This apparently is his picnic spot. Fresh cut branches at the edge of the island. A few days later, most of the bark from these branches had been stripped off.
And, his muddy trail up into the woods for provisions and building supplies.
He doesn't know I'm here, watching him haul out.
He preens for a few minutes...
...then slips back into the water.
He also has a neighbor...this muskrat.
The muskrat swims back and forth, not quite sure what I am or what to do about me.
He opts for diving and hiding.
to be continued...