Saturday 21 July 2012. The Return of the Beavers, then Out in the Country

There was no rain yesterday, but at least this morning was cool and clear. The light sweater I wore was (at least for the first three quarters of the trip) was comfortable.

Planned to ride out in the country this morning, to stay more in the ride itself and worry less about documenting the sights.

But first I really wanted to try again to see the beavers.  The morning was just so beautiful, the stream calm and clearer even than yesterday. The railing at the Windsor/Vine bridge was cool and wet. There was rather lively frog song. Then downstream from the bridge I could see the whole surface of the water shift and twist, gently but unmistakably, though without any indication of its source. But a little patience yielded a view of the long-awaited beaver!  It swam smoothly upstream, submerging for a while then

resurfacing as it made its way under the bridge and toward Windsor Road.

Thought maybe the other adult beaver would appear if I were patient, and lo and behold, first was that water movement and then there was a beaver!

This one was a little smaller, I think, and it swam more slowly.  It even turned a slow circle just before reaching the bridge and paused, enabling me to get a decent photo of it before it went in the same direction as the first one.

Well, there they were, two beavers after days of not seeing any!  But I had heard that there were four of them; maybe they also would show up.  I stayed and watched the place from which the others had come, and at first didn’t see anything.  Then there was that tell-tale motion in the water.  It took a while, but then the third beaver made its way upstream.

Since I had a nice, new SD card in the camera, it occurred to me that I could take some video.  What a concept!  Here it is, Castor canadensis swimming!

I suppose a fourth might have appeared, but it was time to go.  Another day, perhaps!

After all the beaver excitement, was able to tear myself away from the park and just ride down Windsor out to Yankee Ridge via Philo Road.  It was good to be out in the country in the relatively uniform fields.  The soybeans looked pretty good for being in a drought.

Old Church Road was misty near Yankee Ridge.


A  large patch of soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) provided some variety in the mostly uniform (monotonous?) road of Old Church east of High Cross (Illinois 130.  And I have actually seen it also spelled both “High Cross” and “Highcross” on different signs.  That doesn’t seem right somehow.)

Noticed when I stopped to take a photo near the power lines that they crackeled and buzzed.  Yikes!

In the cool air and thrill of seeing three beavers this morning, it felt good to put the camera away and just do some vigorous pedaling along the country roads and on home.


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