Slap!

There are not enough rainy days around here in spring, save for the one year in which the carpenter and I were building a fancy ovate deck for musicians in Worthington who were going to tie the knot on it in late May. That year it would not stop raining and, although we started in early March pouring concrete with antifreeze at 12 degrees in blowing snow, and huddled under the 5 foot tall deck during rainstorms drills and saws at the ready under plastic so we would not lose a day, we were finishing it up in the rain on the morning of the wedding which, needless to say, did not happen on it because it had just started raining.

But this year rainy days are rarer than the slap of a beaver’s tail on the bog, which is how come the hound and I swished and swooshed our way through waist-high grasses and sedges this morning to catch the bog luxuriating in its morning ablutions with fat luscious drops challenging each other to cover every bit of remotely horizontal surface, clinging in any way possible to stalks and leaves and lowers and buds and leftover petals and old leaves from last year, while dousing itself with the piniest-freshest bathing scent borrowed from the balsams at the edge, they doing their own happy dance turning this way and that to catch the most rain. And the hoarse string-plucking green frog chorus a background to the plips and plops sliding off leaf into water and a foreground to the gentle swoosh of the rain and beyond that water rushing across the shallow steps of ancient beaver dams leading up the bog.

It was almost unseemly, not to mention my own unseemly staring that made me late for work of course.

So we went back this afternoon bringing the carpenter along telling him it was the greenest it could be — and also of the utmost necessity that he not hide in the woods but put boldly go out there at the edge of the bog at its most open and reminding him that my mother taught me we’re not made of sugar and we don’t melt even if we carry the bog home in our jeans, and he of course with the greatest boots sloshing this way and that and not caring about my teasing.

But. But before we got that far and the hound was in the bog already and we could hear him splashing to see about the geese he’d chased this morning there was suddenly the unmistakable slap! of the tail of the beaver.

Of the beaver who left the bog almost before this punishing spring brought the water down below the entrances to its house? Of a visitor exploring a new place?

As we rounded the corner we saw the widening circles and foam, but that was that and we saw no more of him . Or her.

Today we didn’t.

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