In broad daylight
By MIKE CORN
They nearly were hunted to extinction, only to be brought back from the precipice.
Today, beavers are hunted once again, typically by trappers who captured and killed more than 9,000 a year ago.
It's just not often you see one during the day, and so amenable to posing for photographs while munching on small twigs and limbs.
Not just once, but twice, after it was discovered a camera setting was askew and a fast return to the beaver's site was in order.
That's when a passerby said the lone beaver was one of a group of three he had spotted in the area near the boat ramp at Webster Reservoir. It was the smallest of the three, he said.
It wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere, providing a good look at all it had to offer. It rarely even paused from stripping away the bark on the limbs from a series of trees that recently had been felled by the beaver and its family.
Beavers are the largest rodent in North America, typically weighing somewhere between 40 and 60 pounds.
They nearly were hunted out of existence in quest for the animal's dense fur, used to make the felt hats fashionable at the time in Europe.
The beaver ideally is suited for water. Its webbed hind feet are ideal for swimming, and it can close off its ears and nose underwater. It has a membrane on its eyes, allowing it to see while swimming underwater.
Beavers typically are nocturnal, making the daytime sighting unusual.