Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Miracle of Lost Beaver Lake

"The rains will steal down from the Sasquatch slopes. They will rise with the geese from the marshes and sloughs. Rain will fall in sweeps, it will fall in drones, it will fall in cascades of cheap Zen jewelry...And it will rain a fever. Mossy-haired lunatics will roam the dripping peninsulas. Moisture will gleam on the beak of the Raven...Rain will eat the old warpaths, spill the huckleberries, cause toadstools to rise like loaves...And it will rain a miracle..." ~~~~~~ Tom Robbins

Well, using a complex high-tech system of buckets and pans strewn about in strategic locations, the farmer calculates that we got somewhere around ten inches of rain during the big storm. Possibly as much as twelve. Up in Bremerton they got 12.75 inches of rain.

It rained hard but it never rained blinding short-lived thunderstorm rain like they get in the summer on the East Coast, the spectacular rain of little stamina. It just rained obstinately, for hours and hours and hours, never giving up.

And as it rained, the wetland at the bottom of our hill gradually filled in. Within a few hours it was a pond, then a small lake. Ducks arrived and began paddling about.

Lori went down to take a picture of the duck pond in use, but since the ducks kept moving when she got close, she was down there a long time.

Wait a second, I need to do a flashback, I'll try to keep it short.

Before the farmer lived here, the wetland actually WAS a lake. There was even a little island in the middle, and the neighbors would take their canoe out on it in the summer. Beavers had built a pretty little dam at the neck of the creek to make the lake, which filled in gradually over time and became home to fish, fowl, and various other inhabitants.

But there was another neighbor over the ridge, so the story goes, who hated the beavers and the lake. His cattle could not get around the lake to graze, and even though they were grazing on land he didn't own, he felt like he had a right to graze that land because he always had.

So he started trying to trap the beavers. But the nature-loving neighbor with the canoe would go out and spring the traps. The stalemate continued for a while until one night, under cover of darkness, the cattle-grazing neighbor blew up the dam with a stick of dynamite. The water swirled out, like water out of a bathtub, and fish lay flopping on the ground, and the lake was gone. And so were the beavers.

When Lori heard the story of the lost lake she said, " maybe the beavers will come back."

And the farmer said, "that would be a miracle."

Anyway, yesterday down at the duck pond, Lori saw something moving in the water, something with a broad head and a broad tail, and she yelled up to the farmer.

"What is it?" yelled the farmer.

"A beaver!" yelled Lori.

The farmer was skeptical. "Is it an otter?" the farmer yelled back.

"Yes," yelled Lori, who didn't have her hearing aids in, "it's an honor to see a beaver!"

"No," yelled the farmer, " is it an OTTER?"

"It's quite an honor," yelled Lori.

But anyway, it turns out that Lori thought it was a beaver.

And that is quite an honor. And also a miracle.