Beavers really are busy!
A beaver family lives in our pond. It’s tremendous fun learning their ways and watching them build their environment and interact with each other. It is especially entertaining to listen to the chatter of the juveniles when mama brings them a stick to chew on in their lodge. They make the cutest little happy noises. Our yard is an ideal kitchen for them as we have an abundance of poplar and willow trees; two of their favorite food sources. Something interesting we’ve learned is that after cutting a tree down they will soak it is the water to soften the bark, which they then eat. The remainder of the tree often is used in dam or lodge construction. What this means for crafting is excess very stripped trees and branches to be used for art projects.
My first idea was to use wood burning tools to create beaver pond scenes along the length of the branch. There were, and still are, major two hurdles to overcome. I can’t draw and I don’t know the art of pyrography, aka wood burning. But I did have access to the internet and an old wood burning set I bought years ago and never opened. So I googled ‘how to draw a beaver’ and gave it a shot on a piece of scrap. I have to say it is a blast. I can’t wait to do more of it.
My goal is still to improve my skills and create the scenes, but I would also love to explore other ideas as to how to use the branches. Perhaps as frames for other art projects or to carve into shapes. There is a local wildlife rescue group that could use the finished projects to sell and help fund their work. If you have any ideas or drawings you would like to offer up, I will do what I can to implement them.
I thought you might want to see Karl demonstrating his dam building expertise. These guys are not little. They appear to be about 30-40 pounds and 2 or 3 years old. They are nearly blind, not afraid of us, and quite content to go about their activities with us quietly standing nearby.