The Beaver Lodge

Another entry for Grace’s wonderful Ecopoetry prompt…I find it is very much what I often do in my writing, without thinking.  The relationship with nature and the gentle strength we find in nature.  We truly need to walk gently on our Mother Earth – when all the insects, amphibians, fish, and animals disappear, do we have so much hubris we do not think we are far behind?

free public domain image - Beaver lodge in the winter

free public domain image – Beaver lodge in the winter

Every day, I drive past a small area of protected wetland. In the midst of a suburban housing development and past an area with a grocery store, Chinese takeout, and a gas station, this pond lives bravely. The trees have become blighted from water saturation but hardier pines and cedar have grown among the skeletons of oak and maple. In the winter, it seems a dead place – shades of grey and sepia and the water often rimmed with ice. In the middle, is a large beaver lodge. Sometimes I notice the addition of new sticks and bits of freshly chewed logs. Mud seems to be replaced seasonally. Once I drove by in the dead of winter and was surprised to see two swans on the pond. They stayed there for over a month and then were gone. I was told by a forest ranger friend of mind, one was maybe sick or injured and so it and its mate left the migrating flock until the sick bird healed. The mate brings food and protects its injured mate until one day, they fly away. The beaver did not seem to mind these temporary guests in their area. It snowed one day and the lodge was covered with snow. It was easy to picture the beaver family inside sleeping and cozy.

Cars whizz by. The beaver and sometimes temporary guests go about their lives as if we didn’t exist. And it is good they live this way. A protected space for these almost invisible folk. I smile every time I pass by. Sometimes I pull off the road and walk the high side of the swamp to get a better view. Once I saw the head of one before it dove under water to swim into its home. The sky was an incredible shade of blue and I was thankful for this bit of peace in the midst of humans.

ice on the still pond –
glimpse of a beaver – snow on
its lodge – warm inside.

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jan 26, 2016 @ 17:12:38

    I like the fact that beavers live so close… But they are so shy, but the tracks are very visible, …


  2. whimsygizmo
    Jan 26, 2016 @ 17:39:55

    I am charmed by those swans. They truly know how to be “temporary guests.” So much would change if we humans treated others’ property the same.


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 26, 2016 @ 17:45:36

      I was truly charmed by them as well. It was a treat to sometimes see them sailing on the water and once, roosting on top of the lodge. I missed them when they left.


      • whimsygizmo
        Jan 26, 2016 @ 18:34:57

        We had a hummingbird nest in our front yard one spring. We saw them through from building, to tiny jellybean eggs, to flight training. When they were gone, I began to realize just a little bit of what that “empty nest” feeling might be.


        • kanzensakura
          Jan 27, 2016 @ 22:02:41

          I totally understand. I feel that way every summer when the baby bluebirds take their first flight and head up to the summer sky. But they do come back….I think the hummers do as well.


  3. Grace
    Jan 26, 2016 @ 18:00:22

    It’s good that the beaver and the animals have their own protected space ~ And I actually haven’t seen a beaver yet ~ Thanks for the gentle reminder that animals go on their own lives as if we didn’t exist ~

    A lovely haibun Toni ~


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 27, 2016 @ 22:05:40

      Thank you Grace. They are very shy creatures. I was honored to see part of one. At the children’s museum here, they have a habitat set up with black glass so they don’t see, but you can see them swimming and sleeping in their lodge, along with nibble lily roots, catching fish….majorly cool. The kids (and kids like me) love it.


  4. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jan 26, 2016 @ 18:35:40

    We used to have a pair of swans on the water outside our kitchen window. The female was hit by a car. The male remained with us for years until he got cold-cocked by and errant golf ball. I can still picture his beautiful body, head extended, stretched out on the green, green grass. We mourned. A neighbor floated camilias on the pond.


  5. Sanaa Rizvi
    Jan 26, 2016 @ 18:59:29

    Beautiful haibun Toni 🙂


  6. Sherry Blue SKY
    Jan 26, 2016 @ 19:25:52

    There is a place like this in my town too. Once I heard a beaver tale slap the pond, making such a loud sound….warning it’s family a wolf …my wolf…was near. Your poem took me back.


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 27, 2016 @ 22:01:07

      Pup would like this place! Lots of things to see and smell, birds, squirrels, rabbits to flush out, several natural artesian springs to drink from….who knows, that may be what doggy heaven is…


  7. flower girl
    Jan 26, 2016 @ 22:38:31

    This is my favorite section:
    “the skeletons of oak and maple. In the winter, it seems a dead place – shades of grey and sepia”


  8. Bodhirose
    Jan 27, 2016 @ 00:49:57

    I love that you realized what a small piece of paradise was hidden from sight (from most). I like that you caught a glimpse of that beaver before he dove underwater. I would want to get a closer look too!


  9. Bryan Ens
    Jan 27, 2016 @ 07:38:26

    You rocked this! You tell the tale with no condemnation of man, but the message is crystal clear.


  10. ShirleyB
    Jan 27, 2016 @ 12:50:11

    Enchanting. You painted a vivid picture.


  11. navasolanature
    Jan 27, 2016 @ 16:19:46

    That is so wonderful and I can see how a haibun can describe a very special place, particularly for the beaver and your appreciation of it.That must make it so Eco!


  12. Sumana Roy
    Jan 28, 2016 @ 04:25:11

    what a beautiful world of peaceful co existence…lovely…


  13. vbholmes
    Jan 28, 2016 @ 11:20:16

    A posiive presentation of animal, fowl and man all peacefully inhabiting the same space–encouraging.


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