Inspiring Minds #2 – They Pause for Beavers
About a half-hour before dusk on any day, Sharon and Owen Brown begin sauntering along a half-mile trail through the woods on their 300-acre property. Their goal is to visit the beavers that have made this upstate NY sanctuary home by creating a lively wetland environment that also attracts an abundance of other wildlife.
The Browns take their time along the path, enjoying the serenity, noting changes, recalling interesting encounters with black bears and nodding toward the curious deer peeking between the trees. Practically gliding over rocks and roots that would make younger folks stumble, this agile couple, both in their 70s, pause to pick up fallen branches or kick tripping hazards out of the way.
It’s a peaceful trek, a way to unwind from whatever the day’s events brought. But the walk is just a precursor to the solace at the end of the trail, where a glass enclosed deck, protruding a few feet over the water, offers a perfect viewing perch as the resident beaver family begins its evening routine undisturbed. Individual names and family sizes have changed through the years, but the antics and activity of each brood become predictable as the furry critters make their way back and forth from their lodge about 75 yards away. Munching, swimming, diving – kits and parents put on a show before tending to their seasonal chores.
Inspired by renowned beaver woman, Dorothy Richards – the author of “Beaversprite – My Years Building an Animal Sanctuary” – the Browns picked up the mantle of beaver education and advocacy in 1985. Funded only by donations and the occasional legacy, their organization “Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife” has grown into a respected voice for these clever tree-gnawing engineers who create habitats vital to the survival of many species. Through emails, phone calls and in-person presentations or consulting, the Browns champion ways communities and beavers can coexist in a win-win setting for all
Thank you Sharon and Owen, for finding your calling and nourishing it so well.
Check out my Gallery – Beavers of New York
This is the 2nd installment in Inspiring Minds – people who make a difference.
Stay tuned for more!