20 years ago the bog on Picklejuice (my land in Maine) was a huge pond thanks to the industry of a beaver family. Unfortunately they ate all the available softwood and moved away long before I moved in. Portions of an old dam and lodge were aging reminders of their history there.
Just last month the dogs and I walked through the bog area over to the little island where the deer like to hide their fawns. We noted a few chewed trees suggesting a beaver had passed through but didn’t expect him to stay long since he has done this before.
Imagine my surprise when I hike into my site and the bog is a giant pond again, covering acres of land! I could hear the beaver slapping his tail on the water most of the first night. We watched him late afternoon the next day taking down trees for his evening tasks.
The dogs were thrilled. Flint’s first camping trip and he was in heaven-swimming, hiking and drying by the fire. Of course it was down below freezing at night but warm and lovely during the day. Best of all, my grandson Brady accompanied me on this trip so it was truly a perfect weekend. We worked and laughed and hiked and laughed some more. He and I sat by the fire one evening as the daylight faded and agreed we could live there forever! Our own private paradise. It brings to mind the quote by Henry David Thoreau :
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
Ahh, someday perhaps.