Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Unlikely Wow Moments

Sometimes there are surprising wonders to be found at very common looking places. I stopped the other day at a typical looking wetland to try to get close to some blooming water lilies. The flowers were beautiful, just opening up, and numerous. As I cautiously approached, hoping to get a close up of the flowers a mighty slap of beaver tail surprised me. I shouldn't have been, I was just concentrating on keeping the water level below the tops of my shoes. The grass covered ground, if I can call floating grass ground, moved and wobbled with each step. It wasn't too many steps along when I found my boots were not waterproof above boot gunwale, so I just gave up and ended up knee deep.
Cautious Beaver (Castor Canadensis)

The beaver swam back and forth checking to see how threatening I was and soon came to the conclusion that I was probably not a very challenging predator. Beaver soon paddled into the midst of the lily pond and began eating one of the flowers. I was able to get my camera and tripod onto solid enough grass and willow tussock and snap a few shots as I slowly sank. Should have worn snow shoes or waders and I would have been much drier.
Beaver Eating Water Lily 

I had time to take a look with binoculars and spotted a red-necked grebe sitting on her nest as papa grebe swam around preening and grooming. I thought that I might get close enough by backing up and wandering through the bush to another opening. As I made my way over I discovered several beaver runs, some fresh and some camouflaged under a layer of deep dead grass and reeds. I did not fall in due more to good luck than any of my good management. The grebe sat patiently but watchfully as I snapped a few shots.
Nesting Red-necked Grebe

With a bit of patience, curiosity and good luck I managed to enjoy a beautiful hour or so in a very unlikely looking pond. Good memories, decent photos and great adventure to add to my Wow Moments catalogue.

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