Meeting Mr. Beaver

So I’m driving back home from work this past July. The highway’s ridiculously busy, as usual, and the sweltering heat isn’t making things any easier. I’m in the high-speed lane on I-495, somewhere between the 267 and Georgetown Pike exits. I happen to glance over to the side of the road, and what do you think I spot in the median? Why, it’s Mr. Beaver! (At least I think it’s Mr. Beaver — given my lack of knowledge about beaver anatomy, and the inability to have a closer look… Well, let’s just assume it was a male specimen, right?)

I pull my car off to the side, turn on my emergency lights, roll down my window and get my trusty 5D out of the bag. He stops to check me out. Get a look at that cheeky glance:

A cheeky glance

Mind you, this is the Washington, DC beltway, one of the busiest roads in the US, but does Mr. Beaver care about that? No, he doesn’t. He’s out looking for a snack while thousands of cars zip (or in our case, crawl) past him.

Back to business

He stretches up the branches of a bush, looking for something tasty. Not sure what he’s looking for, since there isn’t much of anything on those branches.

Pickings are slim

So what do you think he does next? He climbs up into the bush, of course!

Beaver in a tree

When I saw him carry on with this affairs so nonchalantly, I thought he wouldn’t mind it if I got out of the car to get a closer look at him. But I was wrong. As soon as I started to open the door, he jumped down and scampered off into some underground tunnel. In less than a second, he was out of sight and out of reach.

Smiling, I got back into my car and drove off, while the other drivers looked at me quizzically. I’m not sure they even saw the beaver at all. Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in our own little worlds and drive right by the more interesting sights in life. I for one am glad I had the presence of mind to stop my routine and my car, if only for the photos and the little story I’ve just told you.


5 thoughts on “Meeting Mr. Beaver

  1. You know, Epeefencer, I think you’re right! 🙂 I’m terrible with names. When I looked for its name, I kept thinking it looked like a beaver but not entirely like it. It’s a small consolation to me that the groundhog is also called the land beaver, so I’m somewhat right in my appellation. I may have to modify the post title and URL now, and I dread that headache… Thanks for pointing it out!


  2. Epeefencer says:

    Hate to tell you this but that ain’t no Beaver! It’s a common Groundhog! Beavers have a wide flat tail like a paddle!


  3. Great story and photos. Glad you got a chance to stop and experience an urban wildlife encounter. I can’t say I’ve ever known someone to see a beaver from the freeway. You must have eagle eyes.


  4. I don’t mean to downplay the significance of your recent hard work, but this beaver post might be my favorite piece of content to date 🙂


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