Tag Archives: beaver ponds

Field Notes #12: Who Has Seen the Wind? (Pt. 2) by Patricia Karamesines

Brown's Canyon.
This canyon is a tributary canyon to Crossfire Canyon..

Part Two of a three-part post. To read Part One, go here.

Nearing the grove, I find the trail leading into it paved with a light mosaic of shed brown and yellow leaves. I resist the impulse to resent fall’s steady encroachment into summer’s back edge. When I reach the interior of the woods, Belle, very thirsty, trots ahead to a beaver-felled trunk, our customary bench, and plops down to wait for me to offer her water. I open my waist pack to discover that I’ve forgotten to bring her little plastic water dish. Thinking about how that might have happened, I can’t even remember why it isn’t in the pack. Maybe I took it out of the pack when I refilled her water bottle in the kitchen then forgot to put it back in. This is the kind of mistake I make when I’m worn down. I’m unhappy about this error and try to figure out what to do. I cup my hand and pour water into it, continuing to pour as Belle laps water off my palm. Looking at her face, I can tell it isn’t enough. The cap on my canteen is big and will probably hold 4 ounces of water, but I don’t want to offer the lid of my canteen to my dog’s tongue unless the need becomes urgent. Continue reading Field Notes #12: Who Has Seen the Wind? (Pt. 2) by Patricia Karamesines

Field Notes #9: How I celebrated winter solstice

Warning!  Warning!  Long post.

Dec. 21st, a.m.  As I started out, temperatures bumped around in the low 20s.  A ragged ceiling of waxy yellow clouds sometimes let through bright sunlight.  Mostly, though, the cloud cover took the polish off the snow.  An unexpectedly cold breeze chilled the denim of my jeans and cut through my gloves, making my hands ache.  I pulled the overlong sleeves of my parka’s polar fleece liner over my gloves to better protect my hands. Continue reading Field Notes #9: How I celebrated winter solstice

Field Notes #7, pt. one

This is the first part in a two-part Field Notes entry written by two authors.  I’ll take the first part, my son Saul the second.  It wasn’t my intention to put up Field Notes again so soon, but this story is just too good to wait for.

July 11, 2009.  As I take Coyote Way into Crossfire, I find its coyote gate keep reduced to little more than a fur doormat.  The carcass’s light bones seem to be floating away downhill.  Many are missing.  So that took, what?  A little over three months?  Three months for decomposition to the point of fur and bleached bone. 

We’ve had a run of hot weather, so I’m curious about how the beaver ponds in Crossfire are faring, especially the last one located along my route.  Around this time last year, that pond dried up completely.  Dozens of small fish locked in between its dams died in the mud as its last pocket of creek water turned inside out, summer’s heat having emptied it of its currency.

As I approach the dam, I can see the creek bed below it has run dry.  That means there’s no flow out of the dam.  That probably means … yes, the pond is empty. 

But walking to the bank and visually following the curve of the muddy pond bottom to its lowest point, I discover a puddle, three feet long and two feet wide, sunk in a crease.  Its murky, greenish-brown surface roils.  Desperate fish, I think, trapped in the last shreds of water heating up fast in the rising morning temperatures, losing oxygen, losing volume.  Continue reading Field Notes #7, pt. one