Beaver Tails

A loud, hollow splash echoed through the darkness.

On this pitch black, otherwise dead silent night, it seemed only natural that everyone’s minds immediately went to thoughts of murder and monsters upon hearing this splash.

That night our family had gone out near the Flathead River to gaze into the heavens and spot the Perseids. Our stargazing area was right next to a surprisingly busy country road, which was dangerous and also very detrimental to our star party’s success as after becoming accustomed to the darkness, your eyes take 30 minutes to recover from exposure to bright light.

Despite the stargazing being less successful than we’d hoped, in chilly night air one could hear all of the creatures who go bump in the night.

Another splash, and then a scratching noise that sounded like teeth scraping upon bark.

Why, it hadn’t been a lunatic dumping a body in the river- we were witnessing the sound of beavers slapping their tails upon the water as a warning to other nearby beavers. Though we tried to catch them in the beam of our flashlights, these attempts were futile.


Sitting by the river


After several minutes of abandoning the Perseids for “beaver hunting”, we slipped back into the truck and traveled back into town to visit Finnigans. By this time it was almost 3 AM and the night people were getting their breakfast, or in some cases, dinner.

Three quarters of us ordered white chocolate carmel cappuchinos, which turned out to be cups of syrup and whipped cream by a more tantalizing name.

We don’t have any videos or photos of the beavers, but here’s a video of a beaver slapping its tail upon the water in a Montana lake:

Beaver Tail Slap

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