Montana Outdoors

May 26, 2007

Evening swimmer

Filed under: Animals, Beaver, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — montucky @ 11:32 pm

After about a dozen casts, this evening’s fishing was interrupted by an old favorite visitor, a beaver. I enjoy watching beavers under any condition, but they’re especially fascinating when swimming in the open water of the river, where there are varying currents, rocks, pools, eddies; anything but smooth water. Beavers know how to negotiate all kinds of conditions with the utmost confidence and stay under complete control. They are truly some of the world’s greatest swimmers!

I have watched beavers swim perhaps a hundred times, but the lens of a camera sees them quite a bit differently than my eyes do and has the ability to stop their action. I now have a somewhat different understanding of a beaver in water.

He has seen me, but since I’ve frozen any motion, he’s not sure, so he heads my way just to check the situation out. I am fascinated by the turbulence in the water that the camera captured.


As he swam, he didn’t head directly toward me, but zigzagged his way. I took 6 photos from the side and amazingly they all look almost exactly the same. His swimming technique varied only slightly.


It was fortunate that any of the photos were usable because the sun had set and I had to shoot directly toward the bright western sky. No, he‘s not in a snow bank. There’s actually about 20 feet of water under him and he‘s swimming against a current of perhaps 4 or 5 mph.



  1. I thought maybe this series of shots would end with the beaver six inches from the camera lens showing you his teeth. Kind of fun seeing this in stop action.



    Comment by knightofswords — May 27, 2007 @ 9:07 am

  2. No, he finally decided I was something more than a bush and retreated back down river. Now I’ll have to remember to spend some time down there because last year I was able to get pretty close to the kits while they were very small and even watched one of them have a ride on his mother’s back.


    Comment by montucky — May 27, 2007 @ 9:25 am

  3. I love that last shot! You can see how his fur adapts to the water! That’s is really neat. This are fabulous shots!


    Comment by aullori — May 27, 2007 @ 9:58 am

  4. They are perfectly adapted. He was probably more comfortable in all that current than I was standing on the bank.


    Comment by montucky — May 27, 2007 @ 11:11 am

  5. absolutely amazing! I love it. The kids thought the hornet’s nest was interesting, and the eagle awesome, but they will love this! you gonna start photographing for national geographic soon?? great shots! 🙂

    btw, off topic here, but I “nominated” you for a “thinking blogger” award. You can see it here .


    Comment by skouba — May 27, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

  6. There are so many interesting things in the outdoors. I’ve seen many of them before, including many that are quite rare but just didn’t have the camera capability to bring back photos. Now I do, and I’ll probably flood the internet with them for awhile. I’m really pleased to know that your kids enjoy seeing some of them!

    Thank you for the nomination!


    Comment by montucky — May 27, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

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