TREESTAND CHATTER Instinctive

D. Jake Roberts is the assistant pastor at Monument Bible Church in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Before semi-retiring in 2010 he served as the lead pastor at Monument Bible Church for nearly 20 years. He was a missionary in Wisconsin for 10 years, 3 years in Ohio before moving to western Nebraska. He has been a student and teacher of the Word of God for over 50 years. He has also worked as an elementary school principal, teacher, high school counselor, head basketball coach, athletic director, businessman and ski instructor. He and his wife, Sharry, have been married for over 50 years.

Anyone remember the show by that title? Late 50’s, early 60’s?

My family regularly stared down the black and white TV-tube series featuring sons Wally and Beaver. June and Ward Cleaver were an ideal model for parenting but, the show’s featured star was Beaver Cleaver (catchy name, eh).

Its format of good and clean characterization of sons that honor their mother and father was refreshing. I’m not sure it could survive today’s standards for highly-rated family sitcoms. In real life and in the intriguing world of animals, there stands a figure by ponds and rivers and large trees balanced firmly on its two rear webbed feet and anchored by its wide scaly and flat fatty-tissued tail. With gaudy orange iron-chiseled front teeth they can amazingly fell VERY large trees. Lacking magnesium, their pre”pond”erance of iron within their body supplies constantly growing front chisel-teeth (a bit ugly – except to one another I suppose).

Next to humans they are said to be the second most skilled constructionists!

It takes us humanoids 20 years and more to produce engineers of this degree of skill. You don’t have to walk very far along riverbanks before coming across signs of their work (or destruction in some eyes, especially when your favorite ancient mega tree lies dead in the water).

Jaymi Heimbuch has summarized “8 things to know about nature’s most impressive landscape engineers” (can be read at https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/ stories/beavers-8-things-know-about-natures-landscape-engineers). She discusses the beaver’s ability to thwart drought, help against pollution, and indeed the scope and long-lasting changes that a beaver family can bring to an ecosystem is incredible.

Two particular events have stirred my deepest beaver-awe: 1) Wading well above my waistline while fly-fishing after dark, flinging a #6 phony hexagenia limbata (BIG mayfly) over a large gulping salmo trutta (brown trout) … an unsuspecting beaver and I were apparently sharing the same spot on the river. He warily discovered me first. With an enormous thrust of power his large flat rudder whopped the water’s surface only 4 ft away. Water now dripped from my eyeglasses and, admittedly, also down the insides of my pant-legs. I instantly shock-shouted!

2) Two weeks ago I helped hoist a 50-pound chisel-tooth up river’s edge. I couldn’t stop gawking.

The day before I had witnessed him bolting under water with amazing speed and skill. Studying his webs this next day I could now understand its swimming prowess.

The very orange incisors…I then better understood the submissive demise of the trees once standing tall at bank-side. Drenched fur was completely dry and warm beneath its guard hairs, helping me understand quality life beneath an icy river-flow.

I  don't understand how, but now maybe why, such a creature even came to exist… perfectly designed and equipped for its environment and tasks! Really?

Their construction sites, huts, and food-storage banks (fresh twiglets preserved and stockpiled for wintertime luxury dining) …wow! As an educator I have marveled and observed learning curves of human 2-3 yr olds. Learning curves of adult 2-3 yr old beavers (Some have lived as long as 24 yrs) can allow walking on hind feet while carrying a bundle of twigs tray-like in their arms. Learning curve? It’s a young rodent. It’s a “castoroide” secreting a vanilla-scented goo used for food flavoring.

GOD thought of, designed, constructed and provided a means for beaver self-perpetuation. I think the word “awesome” is particularly appropriate here. A brain about the size of a golf ball…learning curve? Leave it to beaver! I’d like to take this moment to praise the Lord Jesus Christ…the Creator of the beaver.

PRAYER NUGGET: Father, thanks for including beavers in your ecosystem and wowing us with your mind and love and creative power. We praise You in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Nebraska Panhandle and eastern Wyoming…I love you and am praying for you.

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