Posts Tagged ‘beaver’


Monday, January 30th, 2012

Didelphis virginiana

The walking trail of the Virginia Opossum along the Sacramento River in Calusa State Park. The opossum is a curious creature. One can see them waddling through the fields and woods at night somewhat awkwardly, in search of delicacies.  They have a human-like track with five toes and an opposable thumb on the rear foot. This can be seen in the photo above.

That’s a trail of the common Killdeer in the upper left. A gorgeously marked shorebird found along rivers, streams and lakes ,that boasts a stark black and white neckband.

Once i was sitting, leaning up against a hemlock tree in upstate New York enjoying the night when i heard a shuffling though the leaves behind me. I turned around to see a pale ghostly mammal making its way towards me, unaware of my presence.  It was a possum out for its nightly forray.

Possums are our countries marsupial, meaning they have a pouch that the young spend time in just like kangaroos. Pretty cool.

castor canadensis

A flurry of beaver trails dragging branches and vegetation in and out of the water.

Feather River

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Mustela vison

The American Mink, a weasel found often  in waterways throughout North America and beyond. I walked along the feather river in Portola California today in search of wildlife. Some co-workers said the river has otter. I wanted to find out. I found some otter-like scat, but i couldn’t ID it for sure. I did come across the other riparian weasel however. His trails and scat were all along the banks in the mud and up on the rocks. The scat was almost entirely filled with crayfish remains.

Yesterday I picked up John Muir’s “My First Summer in the Sierra” for the first time in years. I opened it up and was absolutely blown away. Everyone remembers him as a mountaineer, but honestly, I have never heard anyone else write like that. The mans mastery of words is phenomenal.  He makes Nature sound like Heaven. I’ve never heard anyone write about Nature like that. He was so enthralled by the wilderness and conveys it so well in his writings, I almost couldn’t relate, and i’m a naturalist. That guy was some kind of alien or something. Truly inspiring.

Castor canadensis

The Beaver, also a common resident of rivers, ponds and almost any place with water. If you look in the top right portion of the picture you can see a fairly large three-toed track that looks like a giant bird track, that’s the hind foot of the beaver. The hind left is also in the photo in the bottom left, but it’s jumbled up amongst other animals tracks and is harder to see.

The beaver has five toes on its hind feet, but usualy only the outer three show up. Not sure why honestly. It probably has to do with the fact that they spend a significant amount of time in the water swimming as apposed to travelling about on land.

Spotted sandpipers, ospreys, and a green-tailed towhee shared the banks of the Feather with me. The Osprey, Pandion haliaetus, makes a unique kind of shriek-call as he flies, that makes him sound like the dominant resident of the river.