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OSU’s Benny the Beaver has a brother

OSU’s Benny the Beaver greets new and old friends as students get ready for the new school year.  But did you know that Benny has a brother on the Oregon Coast?  Yup, just down Highway 34!

Benny Beaver’s brother, Billy, lives near (you guessed it) Blackberry Campground; near milepost 18 on the Alsea River.

beaver in alsea river
Billy Beaver

Beavers don’t make much noise so you have to be watching for them.  Early morning or late evening hours are the best time to see them.  We’d seen signs they were in the area for a few days:  bark-stripped sticks floating down the river.  We could also see waves in the water coming from something bigger than a fish on the other side of the river.  Then we saw him lazily swimming upriver yesterday and today.

Orange Critters of Oregon

OSU picked an appropriate color for their school.  These are by no means the only orange critters of Oregon but I’m surprised at how many there are.

Females are mostly green but have rust on their sides
Females are mostly green but have rust on their sides

The Black-headed Grosbeaks have just started showing up.

Male Black-headed Grosbeak
Male Black-headed Grosbeak

He even has a tiny bit of yellow on him.  The female has a little more yellow and the orange is subdued.

Female Black-headed Grosbeak
Female Black-headed Grosbeak

The Orange-bellied Newt is the brightest orange of all these though.

Orange-bellied Newt
Orange-bellied Newt

These newts are VERY poinsonous…so don’t lick them.

 

 

The Beavers Have Landed!

I saw one of the beavers dragging a big limb through the water this morning.  I grabbed my camera but he’d disappeared by the time I made it back to the window.  So I watched and either he or another appeared near our bank.  I’ve seen 3 at one time on other days.

To my surprise he started coming up into the yard!  I opened the window so I wouldn’t have the glass to interfere with my auto-focusing “skills” – hahaha – Although the low light interfered plenty.

Beaver Coming Up the Alsea River Bank
Coming Up the Alsea River Bank

When he got near the house, I think he must have smelled me. I understand they can’t see very well but they have a very keen sense of smell.

Beaver Climbing Alsea River Bank
Coming For Another Snack – Alsea River

He raised up on his hind legs, sniffing the air, then turned and ran (waddled) back down the bank. He went into the water and smacked the surface with his tail as he dove under!  Yup, he sniffed danger and he warned his buddies.

Beaver Running Away
Bye-Bye Beaver

But there’s no radio transmitter on his tail so he’s not one of the nuisance beavers that were relocated to the Alsea River by OSU.  That was a couple years ago, so maybe this is a descendant?

Oh yeah, we saw the head of the elk herd today too.

Bull Elk - Alsea River
Bull Elk – Nice Rack Buddy!

Later, when we drove by again, the two bulls were sparring.

I got a photo but it was too fuzzy to post.  Man, you gotta be quick with wildlife!