Walk on the wild Side
Beavers, own constant water companion
Labrador is home to many animals, all of who must face the extreme elements that represents our location on the big map. Only the hardiest can survive and call Labrador their home. The extremes of the long and cold winters that the animals must endure, is a challenge for all, including us humans.
We have a population of beavers in Labrador that have for eons of time survived among us. These very industrious animals continue to be an active component of the creatures among us who manage to work out a living on the Big Land.
Beavers are among the biggest living rodents on the planet. They have very thick fur, webbed feet and flattened, scale covered tails, and large flat tails. They have powerful jaws, and extremely strong teeth that leave them well adapted to falling trees that they chew their way through. They use the tops of the trees for food and the bigger parts of the trees for construction of their lodges and their dams.
The beaver and its fur was the driving force in opening up our country. Canada was discovered, travelled and mapped, in the beginning by European adventurers, because of the great demand for beaver furs. These animals are clearly a part of the history and heritage that built our country. To this day, beavers are a significant component of the modern-day trappers’ work due to demand for its fur.
We carry the beaver in our language.
‘Busy as a beaver’ and an ‘eager beaver’ are synonymous with being industrious and hard working.
Beavers are excellent swimmers and spend significant amounts of time underwater. They have valves in their nose and ears that close when they are swimming underwater and a clear layer that covers their eyes and protects them when they are swimming. Their front teeth protrude outwards so they don’t get water in their mouth when they are cutting and chewing on submerged wood.
Beavers spend most of their time building dams and the lodges that they live in. The entry to their lodge where they live and have their young is through an underwater entrance.
Beavers are vegetarians and eat many different plant varieties that are available in their region. As fall approaches they eat shrubs and treetops that they have fallen. They work diligently in the fall to gather shrubs and tree top branches and build a feed bed close to their lodge that will provide the feed that they can access easily, to get them through the winter.
Beavers are certainly Mother Nature’s engineers. They seem to know exactly where to build their dams to get the area flooded with maximum benefits, plenty of food, and a central location for their lodge.
Our beavers are an easily recognized symbol of Canada and are an example of the successes in life that can be achieved by simply working together. Perhaps there may be a lesson for us from the beaver, in the value of co-operation and working together.