Beaver @ Lyndhurst, Ontario


One of my favourite activities is to go kayaking with my family and if I’m really lucky I combine kayaking and photography. I use my D5000 and my 70-300 lens. This allows me to catch wildlife that I would otherwise not see or get close to. Typically, we head anywhere within 2 hours’ driving time of Ottawa. Kayaking and photography is not without its challenges, which is why I don’t use my D600. I have not tipped over yet and hopefully I won’t but just in case I use my backup camera. Often I just enjoy kayaking because the wildlife sees me coming before I see them or they are very shy and we only hear them. This photo of a beaver was captured during a trip to Lyndhurst Ontario.


We have taken a number of trips this year and the paddling was wonderful but the animals were either not there or very shy. So my camera stayed strapped to the top of my kayak. This trip was very different. I spotted many animals and had some success in capturing them. When out on the lakes or rivers, we have spotted a lot of beaver lodges but the beaver themselves are a very rare sight. This beaver was swimming along the waters edge in beautiful light when I first spotted him. He was moving very fast and I thought that I would not get my camera out in time to catch him when he stopped to eat something. I floated towards him and as soon as got my camera out, I took some quick pics. Then I tried to get closer to him. As soon as my paddle touched the water, he heard me and dived. This happens a lot when kayaking, which is why you can’t count on taking pictures and just have to enjoy the outing. Much less stress that way.


For those who have never encountered a North American beaver, it is a large, web-footed, semi-aquatic rodent with brown fur and a wide, flat, dark tail. The tail acts as a rudder while swimming, as a prop for standing upright, as a lever when dragging tree logs, and as a noise maker for producing a warning signal when it is slapped on the water. The fingers have long claws, and the legs have small webbed feet and claws. The beaver has a large, wide, head. It has sharp, renewable, self-sharpening, enamelled teeth that can cut through wood and fell a tree.


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