Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Full "Beaver" Moon

By: BonnieBlueFlag

Long before Columbus discovered the new world, or the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower, the Algonquin Indians had given names to each full moon, to help them mark the passing of the seasons of the year.

Tonight, November 15, at 7:58 p.m. EST, the Full Beaver Moon will rise in the sky.

The Full Beaver Moon signals that it is the time for us to set our beaver traps, before the streams and creeks, the ponds and swamps, begin to freeze.

The beavers are most active now as they prepare for winter, and their furs have become long and dense, as they toil away building their dams in the colder water temperatures.

During the late 1800s and well past the Victorian era, ending circa 1901, the beavers were almost hunted to extinction by the white trappers and traders, because the beaver pelt became a very fashionable wardrobe accessory, especially for men's top hats in Europe and in New England.

Since that time they have greatly increased in numbers, and in the amount of damage that they cause in the building of their dams and dens.

A single beaver will chew down hundreds of trees every year, as he continuously builds and repairs his lodges and dams. The beavers do provide habitat for other animals such as ducks and otters, but they can also cause unexpected large-scale floods.

In 1999, in the Washington, D.C. Tidal Basin, where many of the famous Ornamental Cherry trees bloom, drawing tourists from all over the world; a family of beavers moved into the luxurious digs.

The beavers were noticed as soon as they began felling cherry trees to build their lodges.

The National Park Service Rangers quickly set live humane traps, and moved the family of pesky beavers to another area, where the trees were not as famous or rare.


  • Oh, this is interesting. I remember those local beavers in the Tidal Basin. Tsk, tsk, now we couldn't have them chewing down all the historic cherry trees, could we? So the darling little critters were trapped one by one and moved humanely. It was a big local story and we were all taken by the little furry critters. I remember a few years ago there was a marvelous documentary on PBS about a man who had been a beaver hunter and had had a change of heart. He went on to become a great protector of the animal, and never hunted again. I tried to find a reference and to discover his name again, but wasn't able to. But it's a lovely story. That's a beautiful moon that rose tonight. Thanks for putting some context on it.

    By Blogger Aussiegirl, at November 15, 2005 9:33 PM  

  • Love the Cherry Blossoms. Ah, the Tidal Basin... I broke up with a guy while sitting there. Ironic, a dead fish floated by as I was doing it. As my friend said...that was a sign. ;)

    By Blogger Esther, at November 15, 2005 9:54 PM  

  • One of my favorite Trout reserviors, about 6,000 ft elevation, has two beaver dens up at the shallow inlet end.
    As I fish some gorgeous days away I watch them cut trees and drag them into the water and swim them to the dens. Deer take part as beautiful spectators. Right now the lake is snowed in and unfortuneatley for me I must choose to be snowed in or snowed out. I love my mountain paradise.

    Deer, Elk, Antelope, Gray Wolf, Coyote, Cotton Tail and Jack Rabbits, Raptors, Grouse, Cougar, Bobcat, Weasel, Squirrel, Chipmunk,
    Crows, Magpies, Vulture, an occasional Moose and maybe a Black Bear.

    Nature is it's own beauty and reward.

    Title 18 USC, Tresspassing while in possession of a firearm is a felony with a five year prison penalty.

    S.......Sniper 253 25th Infantry Division, NO HUNTING, you'll lose!

    By Blogger samwich, at November 15, 2005 10:59 PM  

  • Beautiful moon! We are all so busy I am not even sure I would have time to look up. Hopefully good times are to come.

    By Blogger Connie and Rob, at November 16, 2005 4:22 AM  

  • I have some friends in upstate NY that still trap beavers. They get around $40 per pelt. $65 for a red fox.

    By Blogger Billy D, at November 19, 2005 7:59 AM  

  • Washington must have suffered collective apoplexy when the beavers assaulted the cherry trees. I suppose these Japanese imports could even be classified as an invasive foreign species and the beavers as the native species were instinctively attempting to restore their habitat by removing the interlopers.

    It might have been an interesting exercise to watch had the Park Service commingled some aspens in among the cherry trees to see which the beavers actually preferred. Alas, the legendary intolerance inside the beltway prevailed and these poor “homeless” beavers were kicked out as soon as they were noticed doing what beavers do.

    By Blogger TJ Willms, at November 19, 2005 10:49 AM  

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