This week's inspiration is the North American beaver or Castor canadensis and I cannot believe it was a friend's suggestion...now how did I forget one of the most important animals and symbol of our country? Yes, I know he's the third largest rodent in the world, but such a cute one!
Last summer my daughter and I learned that their teeth are orange because they are filled with iron to help chop down trees and that they generally weigh about 50 pounds but can grow to 100, heavier than I thought. They are also vegetarians and commited to family (which made me love them more). Every summer a family of beavers move into our local creek...they're beautiful but hard on the vegetation, which grows very slowly and sparsley in these foothills though I love to sit and watch them. When we visited the Rocky Mountain House & Acton House forts, we loved running our fingers through the beaver pelts, though it's sad to know how many beaver were trapped almost to extinction.
A story that always moves me, is the one of Grey Owl, who began as a trapper in the early 1900's and became a Canadian conservationist. I think of him because he raised two beaver kits in the wilds of Canada. He was born in England but came to love the Canadian wilderness, presenting himself as Apache. Pony, a wise young Mohawk Iroquois woman, helped him to see what excessive trapping was doing to the animals and to the land - because of her he became a staunch environmentalist and was influential in creating the largest natural parks in Canada.
I love that beaver symbolizes home, family and teamwork. They are also the master builder and creator, finishing every project they begin. A reminder to collaborate with others in harmony in order to accomplish great things.
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +