The comments to my last post got me thinking about my two up-close encounters with beavers. Both involved trout fishing.
One night, about an hour before sunset, I was standing in hip boots in water up to my thighs. I was in sunlight, but I was casting upstream to a stretch of water heavily shaded by overhanging trees. Suddenly, a beaver's head popped above the surface as it swam with the current downstream. I guessed that it would have trouble seeing, swimming from the dark into the light, so I didn't move anything except my eyes and it simply swam right by, passing about four feet to my right.
The second time, a rainstorm chased me out of the water, so I was standing beneath a tree, hoping its leaves would provide some shelter. A beaver clambered out of the creek and scurried toward me. I didn't move, so it got pretty close—about a yard away from my feet—before yanking some weeds from the ground, turning around and carrying the weeds into the water, where it was apparently beginning to build a dam.
So, one might think the beaver to be a gentle, harmless animal. But then, there's this:
(Nature is red in tooth and claw)