08.16.2014 A close encounter of the Beaver kind (Monochrome Sunrise at Harvard Pond)

As the title implies, I am torn between the proper title for this post.

The obvious is the image of sunrise at Harvard Pond. However, while I was waiting for the sun to clear the distant trees, I noticed a beaver swimming nearby, nibbling on some pond lily pads and seemingly unconcerned with my presence.  He/she definitely knew I was there but just swam around doing the beaver paddle and continuing with breakfast…..no tail slaps for protest.  I was there for the sunrise and thought that, should I abandon that and run for my 300, the beaver would not be comfortable and might leave for another buffet so I stayed put with the wide angle in place and no picture..  Well, no need for concern.  This one apparently is unafraid and proceeded to swim right up to my position on the shore, an obvious beaver trail into the woods, and settled down directly in front of me.  Our eyes met, I spoke quiet nothings and time stood still……for about 10 seconds.  I offered to clear the path, but he/she just turned and went back to the lily pads and eventually some distant reeds.  Seconds later, the sun made its appearance.



About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Black and White, Landscape, Nature Photography, Water, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to 08.16.2014 A close encounter of the Beaver kind (Monochrome Sunrise at Harvard Pond)

  1. Lottie Nevin says:

    Awww, the beaver paddle – it must have been a lovely sight. Your sunrise is beautiful. What a lovely start to the day 🙂


  2. Just Rod says:

    Did you run into natures photographer? The Snapping Turtle 🙂
    Nice story and super photo


  3. I like the pretty dawnscape, but from your text I expected it to be followed by a portrait of Mr. or Mrs. Beaver charmed by your beguiling gaze.


  4. Great image, and story. Love the sky. Really love everything about it. Monochrome was definitely the way to go. I agree with your caution on beavers. I know they sometimes can be quite aggressive if inadvertently the photographer is in between the beaver and the beaver’s kids. Much like bears. Oh if we could only have a 300 available at all times!


  5. bellenoitr says:

    Sometimes the experience is worth more than the photo. In this case, you got the story and a different, but stunning photo.


  6. An inspiring moment, well described. I always suspected that magical things were happening in the wee hours of morning, but my body stoutly refuses to be other than a night owl.


  7. Lucky you for that experience. I am absolutely sure that Beaver are highly intelligent creatures so there’s no reason NOT to believe that he wasn’t as interested in you as you were in him. And, just think of the story he told to tell his kids when he got home. ‘Gee kids, I had the most wonderful experience today while catching a quick bit of breakfast while waiting for the sunrise. There was this human along the path, you know, the path at Harvard Pond. He looked as though he meant no harm so I swam in closer for a better look. Our eyes met, I spoke quiet nothings and time stood still … for about 10 seconds. He said little that I could understand, so I went back to my breakfast and left him to get on with what ever it was he had been doing. Don’t you think that was a delightful way to start my day?’ I am sure that is what transpired after you and the beaver parted company. So, see, you gave an intelligent little creature something really interesting to think about today. Oh, by the way, beautiful image. The textures of the clouds and overhanging trees allow the desaturation to work nicely. D


    • Thanks, David. I agree and believe that other creatures with brains are able to have some kind of cogent thoughts even if not quite in the same language that we employ. Experimenting has shown that plants are able to respond to stimuli in a way that exhibits feelings akin to ours


  8. Andrew says:

    You see, Steve, is is how a landscape should be done even if there is only one sunburst star or whatever they are called. You did quite right to enjoy the moment and not run for the 300. I’m sure the beaver will be back. I do,like the way the branches stand out against the sky and even they are in focus so I’m guessing you were stopped right down. Just perfect.


    • Thanks, Andrew. Yep,f/22 to get the best sunburst though I think there may be a little diffraction issue with the leaves if seen large. But they aren’t the subject so I am not concerned. The sun is the star. 🙂


  9. Nature at its best. The trees at the top framed the pic perfectly. Beautiful. Now you need to photograph the beaver/s.


  10. quabbinite says:

    I’ve met that beaver……a curious and patient fellow. Good job on the monochrome and good angle on the rise!


  11. shoreacres says:

    What I like most about the photo is the way the downward slanting rays and the upward-moving cirrus really help to draw attention to the sun as the focal point. What I like most about your story is the very thought of getting to see a beaver in the wild. i just went looking and found we do have beavers in Texas, but mostly in the northeastern part of the state. I found a good article from Texas Parks and Wildlife that told me just about everything important about the critters, so I’ll be ready to appreciate any portrait you come up with.


    • Even with a relatively quick exposure, those clouds were booking across the sky. In your reading did it mention that beavers were almost trapped to extinction in the U.S., Linda? Their pelts were highly prized in Europe.They have obviously rebounded over the last century quite well here in the northeast to the point that in some areas they are considered pest species, but I am not surprised that they are only found in part of TX.


  12. Pingback: 04.20.2015 Me and the Beav | Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog

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