Beaver Dam, watercolour, 2004
When we first moved back to the farm after it had been somewhat neglected for 10 years or so, the pond desperately needed attention. The old overflow pipe had been cut off by ice so the water level was always quite low and, worse yet, in the spring a beaver moved in and was busily dropping all the trees my parents had planted many years ago into the water! So began a hopeless battle with the beaver where every morning I'd remove the clutter of branches she'd amassed on top of the overflow pipe, and every evening she'd stuff more back. Eventually we resorted to draining the whole pond so she'd move on (it needed work anyway). And she did. She went down in the bush and dammed the creek and this is what I have painted. It was a remarkably beautiful and clever bit of work but sadly, once the spring run off was over, it was not sufficiently deep for her to stay.
Beavers are very attractive animals with dark chocolate brown fur and black noses. We encountered this one waddling down the road with a large branch and so unflappably focused that we could walk alongside her taking pictures.