Unlikely Wow Moments

Sometimes there are surprising wonders to be found at very common looking places. I stopped the other day at a typical looking wetland to try to get close to some blooming water lilies. The flowers were beautiful, just opening up, and numerous. As I cautiously approached, hoping to get a close up of the flowers a mighty slap of beaver tail surprised me. I shouldn’t have been, I was just concentrating on keeping the water level below the tops of my shoes. The grass covered ground, if I can call floating grass ground, moved and wobbled with each step. It wasn’t too many steps along when I found my boots were not waterproof above boot gunwale, so I just gave up and ended up knee deep.

Cautious Beaver (Castor Canadensis)

Cautious Beaver (Castor Canadensis)

The beaver swam back and forth checking to see how threatening I was and soon came to the conclusion that I was probably not a very challenging predator. Beaver soon paddled into the midst of the lily pond and began eating one of the flowers. I was able to get my camera and tripod onto solid enough grass and willow tussock and snap a few shots as I slowly sank. Should have worn snow shoes or waders and I would have been much drier.

Beaver Eating Water Lily

Beaver Eating Water Lily

I had time to take a look with binoculars and spotted a red-necked grebe sitting on her nest as papa grebe swam around preening and grooming. I thought that I might get close enough by backing up and wandering through the bush to another opening. As I made my way over I discovered several beaver runs, some fresh and some camouflaged under a layer of deep dead grass and reeds. I did not fall in due more to good luck than any of my good management. The grebe sat patiently but watchfully as I snapped a few shots.

Nesting Red-necked Grebe

Nesting Red-necked Grebe

With a bit of patience, curiosity and good luck I managed to enjoy a beautiful hour or so in a very unlikely looking pond. Good memories, decent photos and great adventure to add to my Wow Moments catalogue.


This article was contributed by guest blogger, Robert Scriba.

Robert has used Mother Nature and her wild places near and far for his own sanity rejuvenation for many years. He worked as a wildlife guide on the west coast of B.C. and has taken people from around the world on tours to beautiful experiences with wildlife and wilderness in Alberta, B.C., and western USA. He lives in a spectacular part of the world and he looks forward to bringing it to light through photography and writing about these explorations for many more years.

Robert’s other work can be found at www.wildviewfinders.ca. You can also connect with him on twitter at @bigoldbear1.