I walk to the train and notice how the animals shift with daylight, rather than time. When I walk in the dark, it’s often just me and the dawn chorus warming up. As dawn breaks before I reach the tracks, many more things are stirring. The other day, as I stepped past the level crossing, a beaver walked out onto the trail.
It didn’t appear to see me and turned and walked over to some thin trees, appearing to sniff them. It was only as I took a step or two forward that its head went up and it slid down the bank to the water.
Earlier in the week, a beaver swam down the main river. It slapped its tail every 10 or 15 feet, dove, and then immediately surfaced again. It was a slow, odd reaction. I’m not sure if it was protecting a second beaver or just keeping an eye on me. The tail slap wasn’t the normal wallop you hear when they’re startled.