poetry and prose about place

snippets of landscape – beaver lodges and beaver dams

with 12 comments

Everywhere along streams in New Brunswick there are dams and lodges the beaver have built.  The North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) is a clever engineer, building dams to create ponds as habitat.  The still, deep water provides safety from predators and enables the beaver to float branches and logs to be used as building materials and food.

a beaver pond near our cabin ... notice the two ducks on the shore to the left...

Unfortunately, the subsequent flooding of roads and other land means the beaver’s talents are not always appreciated. However, beaver dams help create and maintain wetlands, important for providing habitat for other animals and storage areas for water.



Bear Creek Meadow by Canoe


from the river

we portage

across the beaverdam

over poles and patted mud


to the quiet pond


and the bow

scoured by rocks

parts green


and our paddles

pitted by snags

spoon soup


dignity quiets our paddles

hushed voices heed

the diminishing echo


pliant as stems of pickerel weed

we honour the whisper

of wild rice

the edgewise touching

of nymphaea and nuphar

amphibian eyes

in the harbour-notch of lily pads


we are threaded by dragonflies

drawn by water striders

gathered in a cloak of water shield


oval pads a puzzle

part in silence

return to their places


no trace of our passing



Published as ‘Bear Creek Meadow by Canoe’, Canadian Stories 14 (79), 2011.

© Jane Tims  2011

Written by jane tims

April 9, 2012 at 7:36 am

12 Responses

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  1. Love this poem, Jane… remembering how tranquil and gentle a canoe ride can be… so many things to see…


    Barbara Rodgers

    April 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    • Hi. Every canoe trip is its own adventure and experience. The beaver pond that day was a wonderful example of diversity in a wetland ecosystem. Jane


      jane tims

      April 14, 2012 at 11:21 am

  2. Beautiful poem, Jane. I felt as though I’d gone on the canoe trip with you. Thank you. 🙂



    April 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    • Hi. Glad you like the poem. That canoe trip was so memorable. I do remember being very reluctant to climb up over the beaver dam during our portage to reach the pond. Now I’m so glad we went. Jane


      jane tims

      April 14, 2012 at 11:18 am

  3. You just keep taking me down “memory lane” Jane. I sure do miss our beavers we had when we lived in Waverley. We haven’t seen one since we moved. Guess we need to go for a drive and not to the wildlife park.! What a beautiful poem Jane,,your brain must be on overdrive.! Ha.!



    April 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

    • Hi. We see lots of lodges but seeing the beavers takes patience. Your lakes in Waverley were beautiful. My post ‘the skater’ for January 9, 2012 was about seeing a skater in the cove just below your house, past the train trestle. Jane


      jane tims

      April 12, 2012 at 7:15 am

  4. This is a beautiful poem! Love that picture too.



    April 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm

  5. Wanted… a pair of cuddly beavers to inhabit the 70 acre wood… beautiful home , dam and lodge in need of repair… animal friends available… Deer, Ridgebacks and Geese ( seasonal inhabitants only ) , lots of bugs…

    apply Sue, owner of 70 acre woods..



    April 9, 2012 at 8:09 am

    • Hi Sue. This sounds suspiciously like a beaver pond I once knew well. Just don’t get scared when those pesky beavers slap their tails on the water. Don’t want to see a Hephalump when you look up? Just look down. Love, Jane


      jane tims

      April 9, 2012 at 9:13 am

  6. Hi Jane, Your poetry is beautiful. I can almost smell the trees and feel the cool Canadian air on my face as I read. Thank-you for sharing it. Stephanie. xx



    April 9, 2012 at 7:54 am

    • Hi. I’m glad you like my poem. It was composed after a canoe trip down the Rusagonis River, not far from where we live. I can still feel the tranquility of that day. Jane


      jane tims

      April 9, 2012 at 9:10 am

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