Monday afternoon, Michelle walked along Beach Road, which passes along Haines’s Lynn Canal waterfront. She saw a teenaged girl who was very excited about an animal standing along the side of the road.
The girl asked Michelle, “What is that?” Michelle told her that she thought it was a porcupine. The girl replied that she thought it was a beaver.
As Michelle approached it, she saw that it was, in fact, a beaver.
It stood quite still, calmly watching them and the passing traffic.
A small crowd gathered. Two companions of the girl came up from the beach with a dog off leash. The dog growled at the beaver, but the the girls kept it under control and put a leash on it. The beaver remained unfazed.
Everyone took photos with their phones, and discussed who should be called. Michelle left, as she was walking to catch a ride to the laundromat, where I was doing laundry.
A short time later, we passed the place where the beaver had been. We saw two State Trooper vehicles with light bars flashing. One was our highway patrol, the other the Wildlife Trooper. We saw no further sign of the beaver.
It might surprise you to learn that this sort of sighting is rather rare in our area. We have a lot of beavers around, surely. We find their dams around in the back country. Beaver-cut saplings and logs commonly litter our beach, carried across the canal from the nearby Kahtzehin River across Lynn Canal by the prevailing current. Still, we don’t see the actual animals much at all. We’re far more likely to see a porcupine trundling through town, as indicated by Michelle’s initial assumption. Stumbling upon a beaver, particularly so close to town, offered a rare treat.