The little nature walk I thought I'd be taking through the Audobon Sanctuary earlier today turned out to be a two hour and fifteen minute brisk hike over varied terrain, which is a nice way of saying a forced march up and down hills.
It is going to take me at least a week to recover. The only reason I'm still here to tell the tale is my stubbornness (some might say orneriness). I refused to be the middle aged fat lady who held the entire group up (or God forbid didn't make it out of the forest alive).
So I am chewing Advils, packed in ice and trying to keep my mind on how cool it was to see beaver lodges, like this one. They are the coolest animals. I love how industrious they are. Of course, this causes major headaches for a lot of people, I realize that ... but you have to admire how dedicated they are.
Since beavers are nocturnal we didn't actually see one, but we saw a couple of trees that were quite close to the "hi-ho-TIMBER!" point from being chewed all around by those big beaver teeth overnight. They are starting to gather their stores of branches to keep them supplied with food through the Winter. They don't hibernate so they need to duck out of their lodges via underwater holes and swim to the cache where their food is kept.
Much smarter than a lot of people, I'd say.
Smarter, at any rate, than a 43 year old woman convincing herself that she can do a two hour hike when five minutes' walking on pavement causes premature and undue exertion.
So the beavers have outsmarted me. It's a good thing they're as cute as they are, otherwise I'd be very grumpy about it indeed. More on beavers here. They are quite fascinating!