It was approaching dusk when Jeff picked us up still a distance from Montreal. It was obvious we would not get there in daylight, if we pressed on. So we accepted the offer to spend a night at Jeff’s cabin near Madoc, Ontario. It was still light when we got there. As he made a fire, Jeff suggested we take a walk to his pond and check out the beaver activity. A short walk through the woods led us to a small pond with three beaver lodges. They were keeping hid, but there were signs of their activity. The woods all around the shore were littered with trees felled by beaver. They leave a telltale sign by leaving chew marks tapering in to a point that no longer supports the tree. Apparently they were felling these trees to obtain branch material for lodge construction.
From the many trees felled it was obvious beavers are dedicated workers. However the results belie their lack of engineering skills. Almost half the trees felled, got hung up on nearby trees preventing them from hitting the ground. Therefore, beavers could not reach the limbs they sought for material. These trees were left hanging. Jeff reached a synchronous deal with the beavers. He used a saw to finish the job sending the trees crashing to the ground. He next removed limbs, leaving them for the beavers. He garnered the trunk and log for firewood. From the looks of it, Jeff would be set for winter heating season. Cathy and I helped by hauling several wheelbarrow loads back to the house while Jeff prepared an excellent dinner. After eating we spent the evening cleaning up, playing music, telling stories and probably not working hard as beavers. But like beavers we eventually disappeared into our lodges and enjoyed good night’s sleep.