Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lake Beaver (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)

11 May finds us exploring a logging road north from Opasatika Ontario, in search of the freshly burned area that we explored while I was writing Canadian Nature Notebook.  We spent an exciting afternoon of seeing bears (total count of 5), a Bald Eagle, and a Sand Hill Crane, and photographing Moose and Wolf tracks, we found an area of fallen trees with some old weathered charring, pieces of charcoal under dense, rusty-green moss, and fire hollowed roots where the fire had burned down into the duff, to mineral soil.

The area is approximately 24 kilometres north on the Waxatike Road.  As we drove south again, we investigated a small entrance road and walked in, looking for the place we had camped to explore the fresh burn back in 1977.  We followed the track alongside a cattail-filled ditch up to an impressive, freshly maintained beaver dam.  We were astonished to see the dam turn at right angles and continue in the direction of the track, snaking along the whole side of what opened out to be a sizeable lake.  This Beaver dam is holding up a lake!  Following the outside of the dam, the footing is good along the double ruts of an ATV track, and we marvel at the evenly spaced, parallel logs placed by the beavers against the steep slanting outer wall of the dam like a sloping pallisade.

 At its highest at about mid lake, the dam is over two metres, and we saw where the Beavers had repaired three breaches into the dense forest of tangled, scrubby old willow bushes,  in the gloom of which Marsh Marigold is just beginning to bloom.

In the distance, at the rounded end of the lake we spot a large Beaver lodge, but here, across from the mid-point is a narrow marshy spot, where we heard repeated squeaks and watched Beavers swimming.  There appear to be holes in hummocks and under the roots of willows that may be the Beaver's summer quarters.  There is much coming and going of Beavers, and I would like to stay until dark, to watch them working on the dam.

Later, Adam has found the lake on Google Earth, and made an approximate calculation of its size.  The length of the dam is approximately 490 metres, and the area of what we call "Lake Beaver" is about 14,000 square metres.


This original oil painting is available for $275. For information on purchase and shipping, please contact me at karstad@pinicola.ca


4 comments:

  1. I grew up just about 12 miles west of Opasatika . In a place called Reesor now long reclaimed by the bush. Spent many hours playing at a siding where the monument to the bushworkers now is. Lived about 1/2 mile from there. Did a lot of fishing on the Opasatika river. Still really moss that part of Ontario. In Alberta now.

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  2. Is this painting still for sale?

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  3. Yes, it's still for sale - surprisingly. I find it rather iconic, and thought it would sell right away!
    Please e-mail me if you are interested in buying this painting. My address is .

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  4. I will try again with my address... karstad "at" pinicola.ca Replace the "at" with a symbol.

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