A beaver tale
In the dusky moments at the end of the day when the hush of evening descends, the loon’s song echoes through the forested lake land of northern Wisconsin. Besides the call of the loon, the whippoorwill serenades the northland’s listening ears. Yet these birds are not the only creatures taking advantage of the transition of day to night.
A beaver family leaves their sturdily built lodge and quietly glides through the water surveying the lake and the landscape for food. This little family eats many plants. A favorite delicacy for them is the water lily. That must be what attracted them to a quiet little cabin and its beach.
While they lunch-munch their favorite food, Mr. Beaver spies a nearby poplar tree that seems ripe for the picking. The water table has risen dramatically over the past several years. Hence, the shoreline is reaching farther and deeper into the forest. What a fine prize this tree would make for his family to build other lodges or even a dam!
The lumberjack qualities of Mr. Beaver’s life kick in. He senses the opportunity before him. With wholehearted ambition and persistence, he reasons his family could harvest that poplar. Determined to do just that, he marks out his territory and makes plans to get busy on this venture. He did not ask the DNR, nor did he get permission from the property owner.
Several nights later, he and his family return to begin the take down of that tree. They start the gnawing job with patience. After all, “Trees do not fall in only one day,” said Mr. Beaver to his kits as they worked. Day after day they returned.
Days turned into months. Months became seasons. A year went by. The girth of the tree kept getting smaller. Yet its life lingered. The quaking leaves fluttered in the fresh breezes as they wafted over the shimmering waters.
The property owners marveled at the how the tree could remain alive and standing. Piles of chipped wood surrounded its trunk. The beavers work was progressing steadily.
The owners could not judge whether the tree when felled would land in the water of their beach or get hung up on another tree in the woods. Yet they supposed that beavers have a God-given instinct for the things they need and work at. So they prepared to wait and see what would happen. They rooted for the tree to land in the water.
Finally the day came. The tree came down exactly where Mr. Beaver planned. The tree top was in the water! It was perfectly placed for him and his kits to chew off the branches for their building projects.
And now comes the part of the story that the beavers had not expected. Mr. Beaver had not read any Marvel Comics. He did not know about super heroes. But he found out about one.
One day, the property owner came to clean up Mr. Beaver’s work on the beach. The buzzing filled the air as he worked. Wood shavings, similar to what the beavers left, flew and piled up on the forest floor. In a few moments time, the buzzing Super Beaver had cut the tree into a log. He sliced it into smaller pieces.
The super hero, as you may have guessed, was a chain saw. Can you imagine what Mr. Beaver will think when he returns to get more branches? Half of the tree will be missing with telltale, superhero piles of wood chips to prove he was there! What Mr. Beaver and his kits worked at for over a year, was cleaned up in an hour or two! Wow, Super Beaver is a hero!
Mr. Beaver and his family will likely have plenty of good food to eat. And they will have a great selection of trees to take down, as needed. But someday, they may meet up again with Super Beaver if they choose to harvest trees at this same little cabin.
The beavers like to eat plants. My family and I do, too.
We have been growing cabbage. I have experimented this summer with it.
You might try this when your cabbage is ready for eating.
Sautéed Spiced Cabbage
1 head of cabbage
2-4 Tablespoons butter
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste (optional)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
½ to 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Cut cabbage into fourths. Slice each fourth into ¾”- 1” slices. Cut out the core of the cabbage.
Melt butter in a frying pan at medium heat. Place ½ of the cabbage in pan to shrink and sauté. Season with half of the salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. Stir into the cabbage. As the cabbage shrinks down, add the rest of the cabbage and add the rest of the spices. Stir.
THIS IS A “TO TASTE” RECIPE. Mix and taste the mixture as you go. Add more butter if the cabbage sticks to your pan.