Montana Outdoors

December 17, 2009

New friends

Filed under: Animals, Beaver, Montana, Nature, Outdoors — Tags: — montucky @ 9:33 pm

Wrong lens; toward the light… well, that’s the world outdoors. Wish I could have had the longer lens though (and that I hadn’t had to shoot through willow branches).

Looking for a good angle for a landscape shot of the river, I spotted something familiar in the water just over the bank 50 yards ahead . A beaver was sitting in the water near shore eating the bark of a willow that he had just cut. As I stalked nearer, being as quiet as I could, his wife appeared from under the river ice (I assumed she was his wife: they’re quite traditional critters you know) and began to feed with him. I was finally able to get these shots from about twenty yards.

The first three photos are the male who is larger and his fur had somewhat dried off from being out of the water for awhile. The last three are of his wife who was still quite wet. I enjoyed the piece of ice on her head in the fourth photo (she didn’t seem to even notice it) and included the fifth photo because it shows her big webbed rear feet as well as the fingers on her hands.







His wife is a cute little thing, isn’t she!

(These photos are part of 46 that I took over a period of 22 minutes while standing on the snowy river bank in a light rain, totally fascinated by my new friends.)



  1. O so cute!!! I think you got great shots! Love them!


    Comment by Stacey - Addicted to The Click — December 17, 2009 @ 11:41 pm

    • It’s a real treat to see them and a special one when I could spend that much time fairly close watching them have their lunch.


      Comment by montucky — December 18, 2009 @ 12:35 am

  2. They are a very handsome young couple. What fun to come upon wild animals in your daily treks.


    Comment by Candace — December 18, 2009 @ 3:28 am

    • It really is, but it’s so often unexpected that I nearly always have the wrong lens on the camera, and those encounters usually don’t give enough time to change.


      Comment by montucky — December 18, 2009 @ 9:58 am

  3. So cool!!


    Comment by Patia — December 18, 2009 @ 11:44 am

    • I’m always thrilled when I can watch them because I think they’re cool too!


      Comment by montucky — December 18, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

  4. Looks like Mr. Beaver had lost a chunk of tail at some point. Very considerate of him to let you get as close as you did. Hopefully you get more opportunities to observe them.


    Comment by DaveABirding — December 18, 2009 @ 11:46 am

    • Yes, I’ll keep checking every day or so, this time with the right lens.


      Comment by montucky — December 18, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

  5. Oh, how cute! I love Mrs. Beaver’s little ice cap! haha!!


    Comment by Barbara — December 18, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

    • She went under the ice a couple of time while I was watching and always came back with a new piece of ice on her head. Didn’t seem to mind though.


      Comment by montucky — December 18, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

  6. Trying to catch up with your posts and I LOVE these photos. I’m more than a bit of an animal nut and would have stood with you in the rain as long as they were there to watch. Like the snow effect…thought my eyes were going bad at first!


    Comment by SuzieQ — December 18, 2009 @ 10:54 pm

    • Watching wild critters in their natural habitat, undisturbed, is about as good as it gets for me.


      Comment by montucky — December 18, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

  7. I grew up next to a beaver pond, but was never fortunate enough to see a beaver. It was surrounded by thick brush and you would hear the tails slapping as you got close. Very cute animals. =)


    Comment by kateri — December 19, 2009 @ 4:26 am

    • There aren’t a lot of them still around this area. Some, as these, pass through on the river and hopefully will go up one of the small streams to make their homes. Sadly, Montana still allows trapping though and there are enough of that breed around who will kill all they can find.


      Comment by montucky — December 19, 2009 @ 9:10 am

  8. Delightful photos! I can only imagine the fun you had in observing them. In the last photo it appears as though Mrs. Beaver is smiling! Hope you get to observe this pair on a regular basis!


    Comment by Maureen — December 19, 2009 @ 10:43 am

    • I sure hope to see them again, but they may be just moving through. I returned to that spot this morning and after a couple of warm days it had all changed. The ice is all gone there, including the ice behind Mrs. Beaver which extended over 20 feet out into the river. There are lots of willows along there though so they may stay for awhile at least.


      Comment by montucky — December 19, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  9. Oh what wonderful captures of the beavers! Aren’t they the cutest! I’d so enjoy just watching them work and do their thing. 🙂


    Comment by Anna Surface — December 19, 2009 @ 11:09 am

    • I really enjoyed that encounter. I was close enough that I could hear them chewing the bark off the willow branches.


      Comment by montucky — December 19, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  10. thank you for sharing these! I think you really do live in a magical world!! Mr. & Mrs. Beaver….the ice on her head is cute!


    Comment by silken — December 20, 2009 @ 8:56 pm

    • Sometimes it seems that way, Stacey. There’s just so much out there that’s beautiful or interesting The main thing is just to be out there as much as possible.


      Comment by montucky — December 20, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

  11. I googled “beaver dams and lodges” and came upon your fotos.
    I live in Wisconsin and I am currently having big issues over a beaver pond that lies on my property.
    Please check out “Save Taryn’s Beaver”, and follow the links. It’s a long story, albeit a good one.


    Comment by Taryn — May 11, 2010 @ 11:54 pm

    • Thanks for the visit, Taryn, and I wish you the best of luck saving the pond! Many Montana folk are now fighting sport trapping which has been very damaging to the beaver population here. I think now it is picking up momentum.


      Comment by montucky — May 19, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

  12. We had a beaver years ago when my kids were little living in our backyard pond. We got up close and personal with it because they are so blind. My youngest daughter called it Missy Bebber. Ahhh, those were the days….so cute.


    Comment by 2ndhalfolife — March 17, 2015 @ 11:34 am

    • That must have been precious, when your daughter was small. You were also able to watch it through her eyes. What an opportunity!


      Comment by montucky — March 17, 2015 @ 8:00 pm

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