|Blueberry 2010 - 2013|
|Blueberry in 2011|
|Blueberry (left) with his father , May Apple (right) enjoying some apples in 2011|
Blueberry wasn't an only beaver for long, and in the spring of 2011 his parents supplied him with 4 new siblings, which he seemed more than happy to help care for. One of the kits would incessantly badger him for apple pieces or any other tasty morsel its older brother might be enjoying. That particular kit was dubbed “Badger Beaver” and later became Blueberry’s closest friend in the colony. Blueberry and Badger, along with their father, May Apple (the master builder) did the lion’s share of the maintenance on all of the colony’s dams and lodges.
|Blueberry (left) with Badger (right) in the summer of 2011|
In the spring of 2012, when the main pond’s water level had been substantially increased, emergency work was needed on the lodge and the 3 worker beavers toiled around the clock until the job was done. They piled up branch after branch on top of the lodge – greatly increasing its height, while simultaneously, from the inside, chewed out a new ceiling. They also raised the level of the living chamber’s floor. Interestingly, Julia and her latest batch of kits were inside the lodge during the entire reconstruction process.
|Blueberry coming down after working on the roof of the lodge|
Blueberry was a very friendly beaver and I had many encounters with him during his too short life. He would often come up onto shore right near me and collect grass or groom himself. Sometimes he would causally pass by me on a foot trail – headed out into the sapling grove to do some logging for dinner.
|Blueberry collecting grass probably to use as bedding inside the lodge|
The most famous anecdote about Blueberry had to do with a one beaver protest that he staged against his father’s selection of the family's “groceries”. He was about a year old at this time and May Apple was still providing him with most of his food. Pussy Willow is the most common beaver food plant at the nature preserve and so that's what May Apple usually came back with. The trouble was that Blueberry was tired of willow and what he really wanted his father to bring back was Quaking Aspen. So to protest, he began taking the freshly cut willow saplings – one by one, and pushing them over the dam. Hilariously, after he finished shoving the last nemesis branch over and out of the pond, May Apple returned with a king-sized willow sapling. Why don’t you just help yourself, Blueberry? There’s plenty more where that came from.
|By 2012, Blueberry got over his dislike of willow and collected loads of it for the winter food supply|
After the big dam collapse in June of 2012, and May Apple and 3 of badger’s brood mates disappeared – and were presumably killed, it was Blueberry and Badger that managed to pull things together and recreate a new place for the remainder of the colony to live. Blueberry was instrumental in fixing the dam at Secret Pond and creating a new lodge there. Now in the role of main provider for his mother and for 4 brand new kits, Blueberry got over his hang up with willow in a big hurry.
|Blueberry works on the dam at Secret Pond|
|A Quaking Aspen cut down by Blueberry|
|Blueberry drags the Aspen tree back to the pond|
|Blueberry with one of the new kits in 2011|
|Blueberry with a new kit from 2012|