[You have to look close for the small blue-gray dish. Trust me, it’s there.]
Beavers, as everyone who has studied their natural history can attest, are amazing in a variety of ways. The first thing that comes to mind is that they are considered “Natures Engineers” because they have the instinct to secure a site, chew down dozens of trees and proceed to construct a clever and efficient dam. But, it doesn’t stop with the dam. The water that is impounded behind said dam makes a small pond or bog.
This is where things get interesting.
Somewhere near the middle of the pond, the beaver eagerly builds a “lodge” that is made of mud, twigs and assorted detritus from the surrounding area. From a distance, this “lodge” appears to be a mound of…well, twigs, mud and assorted detritus.
Here’s yet another feat of engineering that the beaver adds to this already interesting complex of well-engineered structures: The entrance to the “lodge” is below water level but most of the interior is above water level. I mean they aren’t fish. They are mammals so they need to breathe air.
Every Natural History Museum in North America has a fake beaver “lodge” inside a giant plexiglass tank and is displayed in cross-section so that we can see the cozy little chambers and cute living areas.
How safe and warm and secure the little beaver family looks (at least the stuffed ones in the museums) as they live and play in their dry “lodge”.
Leave it to the beaver to have the genetic wiring to be able to build these units. Believe me, I’ve seen plenty of these places in real life, and I can attest to the same style, generally speaking, of these beaver dwellings.
If you watch Animal Planet or any National Geographic special on “amazing animals”, you will also see footage of the beavers at play or just sleeping the cold days away in their middle-of-the-pond home.
So, as I was driving along a forested road north of Lyon Mountain, NY, I was not at all surprised to see a beaver “lodge” complete with a satellite dish mounted on the highest point.
Was I incredulous? Not at all. As I’ve said, beavers are something close to “genius” level…in their mammalian world. Why not have a dish?
After all, what human is going to slog through neck-deep muck to place a dish where it allows them to watch 3,000 TV channels? Does anyone in the northern Adirondacks really care about Rugby results from Paraguay? Or, God forbid, Cricket results from Surrey, England?
Have you ever watched a four-day Cricket match from Sussex? You could build three “lodges” before anyone scores a run.