April 22 is Earth Day and what a better way to celebrate it than in a salute to beavers and their engineering prowess. I happened upon a Nature program on PBS on Wednesday night called Leave it to Beavers by Dam Builder Productions in association with Thirteen Productions LLC for WNET. It was wonderful. Sometime I start to watch a Nature program and I have to stop, the inevitable outcome is that the animals or area being studied is in such a steep decline that there is nothing that can be done to save them. Not so with the beavers. This realistic, but optimistic look at the world of beaver rescue and rehabilitationm gave me hope. Beavers are amazing aquatic animals. The dams they create do far more good than not. Leave it to Beavers, which is available on DVD from the library, highlights how beavers can transform and revitalize landscapes. They can help keep water where it should be and lower the temperature in the high desert area where they build their dams.
Leave it to Beavers showcases a hairdresser in Denver who rescues beavers and a Canadian wildlife biologist who rehabilitates injured beavers. The interactions between the beavers and the rescuers and rehabilitators are heartwarming. But I think the best part of all of Leave it to Beavers was the peek that viewers were afforded when we were able to see how the beaver family lived during the winter. The camera showed not only a family of beavers, including the new kits, but a pair of muskrats, a family of deer mice, frogs and aquatic insects. The beaver lodge is a very warm and welcoming abode for a long winters stay. Here’s a clip from Leave it to Beavers to pique your interest. And if you want to learn more about Earth Day, the Iowa City Public Library has shelves of materials to make the earth a better place for all of us, people and animals alike.