It's Time To Appreciate the Beaver

I was not a nature-oriented kid. Everything I knew about the outdoors came from cartoons— specifically, that bears stole your “pic-a-nic” baskets, and that John Candy had a part-time job as a camp counselor.

This may explain why, until this past week, I’d never seen a beaver up close. Why are you laughing?

On Monday, my wife and I took a stroll to a nearby beaver pond. At first, all we saw were a bunch of dumb geese. Then, there it was: the serene beaver, gently wading in circles, like a retiree in Boca.

The beaver is a stocky aquatic mammal with an innate flair for architecture. Imagine Michael Phelps and Frank Lloyd Wright, stuffed into an adorable Richard Dreyfuss-sized package.

Beavers are incredible animals who are an important part of our eco-system. Here are some Beaver FAST FACTS, so the next time you’re at a dinner party and the convo turns to beavers, you won’t have to fake a seizure to get out of it!

  • The Beaver is the official rodent of New York State! And, as we New Yorkers know, there’s a lot of competition for that title: rats, squirrels, Andrew Cuomo. Is that still topical?

  • Beavers can weigh up to 77 pounds. That’s more than your anorexic cousin!

  • Beavers live in little dome-shaped houses called lodges, which they build from sticks, grass, and moss. Lodges often have underwater backdoors for instant swimming access. Your move, Property Brothers!

  • Since the colonization of North America, we’ve wiped out 90% of the original beaver population, maybe more. Whoops!

  • Fewer beaver dams meant the majority of wetlands were drained. Waterways became disconnected from their floodplains. Rivers became more like canals or sewers, leading to today’s problems with water pollution, erosion, and escalating damage from regional floods and droughts. Double whoops!

So let’s all give thanks for beavers. They’re not just adorable. They’re also the only construction workers who won’t cat-call you. Thanks Beavers!


ANTIQUE OF THE WIQUE

There’s a lot of antique stores in upstate New York. You’ll find a new discovery here every week!

This week’s antique is……..

“SOUP: A Way of Life.”

Cookbook or cry for help? Vote in the comments!