BEAVER – Chapter 18 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1


Old Man Coyote Waits a Long Time

Old Man Coyote lay stretched out in his favorite napping place on the Green Meadows. He was thinking of how just that morning he had discovered that Paddy the Beaver was living up in the Green Forest. Old Man Coyote’s thoughts seemed very pleasant to himself, although really they were very dreadful thoughts. You see, he was thinking how easy it was going to be to catch Paddy the Beaver, and what a splendid meal he would make. This thought made him lick his chops.

“He doesn’t know I know he’s here,” thought Old Man Coyote. “In fact, I don’t believe he even knows that I am anywhere around. Of course, he won’t be watching for me. He cuts his trees at night, so all I will have to do is hide right close by where he is at work, and he’ll walk right into my mouth. Sammy Jay knows I was up there this morning, however Sammy sleeps at night so he will not sound the alarm. My, my, how good that Beaver will taste!” He licked his chops once more, then yawned, and closed his eyes for a nap.

Old Man Coyote waited until jolly, round, red Mr. Sun had gone to bed behind the Purple Hills and the Black Shadows had crept out across the Green Meadows. Then, keeping in the darkest of them, and looking very much like a shadow himself, he slipped into the Green Forest. He made straight for Paddy’s new pond, trotting along swiftly without making a sound. When he was near the aspen trees which he knew Paddy was planning to cut, he crept forward very slowly and carefully. Everything was still as still could be.

“Good!” thought Old Man Coyote. “I am here first, and now all I need to do is to hide and wait for Paddy to come ashore.”

So he stretched himself flat behind some brush close beside the little path Paddy had made up from the edge of the water and waited. It was very still, so still that it seemed almost as if he could hear his heart beat. He could see the little stars twinkling in the sky and their own reflections twinkling back at them from the water of Paddy’s pond. Old Man Coyote waited and waited. He is very patient when there is something to gain by it. For such a splendid dinner as Paddy the Beaver would make he felt that he could well afford to be patient. So he waited and waited, and everything was as still as if no living thing but the trees were there. Even the trees seemed to be asleep.

At last, after a long, long time, he heard just the faintest splash. He pricked up his ears and peeped out on the pond with the hungriest look in his yellow eyes. There was a little line of silver coming straight towards him. He knew that it was made by Paddy the Beaver swimming. Nearer and nearer it drew. Old Man Coyote chuckled way down deep inside, without making a sound. He could see Paddy’s head now, and Paddy was coming straight in, as if he hadn’t a fear in the world.

Almost to the edge of the pond swam Paddy. Then he stopped. In a few minutes he began to swim again, and this time it was back in the direction of his house, and he seemed to be carrying something. It was one of the little food logs he had cut that day, and he was taking it out to his storehouse. Then back he came for another. And so he kept on, never once coming ashore. Old Man Coyote waited until Paddy had carried the last log to his storehouse and then, with a loud whack on the water with his broad tail, he dove and disappeared in his house.

Then Old Man Coyote rose up, deeply disappointed, and started out to look elsewhere for his dinner.

Continue Paddy’s story at:

BEAVER Chapter 19


BEAVER Video #33

BEAVER Video #34

 Timberrrrrrr Take 2!

Paddy the Beaver has managed to balance his work beyond belief leaving just a few bites undone!

It was so tempting to walk over and just push this tree over, however I left it to unfold naturally with Paddy and Mother Nature writing the story.


Here is more of this magic act seen a few days later from every angle.

The tree is only resting on a few thin branches up above and really just needs one good push from Old Mother West Wind.

Stay Tuned!

Collection of BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 signs of beaver activity near my home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts were P.L.A.Y.-fully captured in photos and videos to share these wonder and awe filled adventures with you.

BEAVER – Chapter 17 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1


Old Man Coyote is Very Crafty

Old Man Coyote has one of the craftiest brains of all the little people of the Green Forest or the Green Meadows. Sharp as the wits are of old Granny Fox, Old Man Coyote is sharper. If you want to fool him, you will have to get up very early in the morning, and then it is more than likely that you will be the one fooled, not he. There is very little going on around him that he doesn’t know about. Once in a while something does escape him though. The coming of Paddy the Beaver to the Green Forest was one of these things. He didn’t know a thing about Paddy until Paddy had finished building his dam and his house and was cutting his supply of food for the winter.

You see when the Merry Little Breezes of Old Mother West Wind first heard what was going on in the Green Forest and hurried around over the Green Meadows and through the Green Forest to spread the news, as is their way, they took the greatest pains not to even hint it to Old Man Coyote because they were afraid that he would make trouble and perhaps drive Paddy away. The place that Paddy had chosen to build his dam was so deep in the Green Forest that Old Man Coyote seldom went that way. So it was that he knew nothing about Paddy, and Paddy knew nothing about him for some time.

After a while Old Man Coyote noticed that the little people of the Green Meadows were not about as much as usual. They seemed to have a secret of some kind. He mentioned the matter to his friend, Digger the Badger.

Digger had been so intent on his own work that he hadn’t noticed anything unusual, except when Old Man Coyote mentioned the matter he remembered that he had seen Sammy Jay in a great hurry heading straight for the Green Forest every morning.

“That’s all I need to know, friend Digger,” Old Man Coyote said with a grin. “When Sammy Jay visits a place more than once, something interesting is going on there. I think I’ll take a stroll up through the Green Forest and have a look around.”

With that, off Old Man Coyote started. However, he was too sly and crafty to go straight to the Green Forest. He pretended to hunt around over the Green Meadows just as he usually did, all the time working nearer and nearer to the Green Forest. When he reached the edge of it, he slipped in among the trees, and when he felt sure that no one was likely to see him, he began to run this way and that way with his nose to the ground.

“A-ha!” he exclaimed, “Reddy Fox has been this way lately.”

Pretty soon he found another trail. “So,” he said, “Peter Rabbit has been over here a good deal of late, and his trail goes in the same direction as that of Reddy Fox. I guess all I have to do now is to follow Peter’s trail, and it will lead me to what I want to find out.”

So Old Man Coyote followed Peter’s trail, and he came directly to the pond of Paddy the Beaver. “A-ha!” he said, as he looked out and saw Paddy’s new house. “So there is a newcomer to the Green Forest! I have always heard that Beaver is very good eating. My stomach begins to feel empty this very minute.” His mouth began to water and a hungry look shone in his yellow eyes.

It was just then that Sammy Jay saw him and began to sound the alarm at the top of his lungs so that Paddy the Beaver over in his house heard him. Old Man Coyote knew that it was of no use to stay longer with Sammy Jay about, so he took a hasty look at the pond and found where Paddy came ashore to cut his food. Then he started straight back for the Green Meadows. “I’ll just pay a visit here in the night,” he said, “and give Mr. Beaver a surprise while he is at work.”

And yet for all his cleverness, Old Man Coyote didn’t even notice that he had left a footprint in the mud.

Continue Paddy’s story at:

BEAVER Chapter 18


BEAVER Video #32


Oh my goodness! Today was the day! In the midst of a grey sloppy walk I saw Paddy the Beaver and boy was he CUTE!

He was working just below the dam and sat about 20 inches tall with his good size tail as his prop. He looked to be a 2-3 year old juvenile at about 40lbs tops all sopping wet.

He was 6 ft away from me down in the beaver canal and immediately jumped from below the dam up and over the layered logs and dove directly into the water swimming diagonally straight to the entrance of what I can now confirm is his lodge.

It all happened so fast (so no time for photos) and yet it was a spectacular site none-the-less!

I called out to him as I left letting him know I was so glad to finally meet him, even if briefly!

Yay, Paddy!

 Timberrrrrrr! Paddy the Beaver’s work includes a tricky balancing act!

Collection of BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 signs of beaver activity near my home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts were P.L.A.Y.-fully captured in photos and videos to share these wonder and awe filled adventures with you.

BEAVER – Chapter 16 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


Sammy Jay Makes a Short Visit

Paddy the Beaver was hard at work. He had just cut down a good sized aspen tree and now he was gnawing it into short lengths to put in his food pile in the pond. As he worked, Paddy was doing a lot of thinking about the footprint of Old Man Coyote in the little patch of mud, for he knew that meant that Old Man Coyote had discovered his pond, and would be hanging around, hoping to catch Paddy off his guard. Paddy knew it just as well as if Old Man Coyote had told him so. That was why he was at work cutting his food supply in the daytime. Usually he works at night and he knew that Old Man Coyote knew it too.

“He’ll try to catch me then,” thought Paddy, “so I’ll do my working on land now and fool him.”

The tree he was cutting began to sway and crack. Paddy cut out one more big chip then hurried away to a safe place while the tree fell with a crash.

“Jaay-Jaay!” called a voice just behind Paddy.

“Hello, Sammy Jay!” said Paddy with a twinkle in his eye, “do you want to sit up in this tree while I cut it down?”

“No, I’d rather not,” said Sammy Jay, “I was just checking on you as I saw you had an unannounced visitor this morning.”

“And who would that be?” asked Paddy, pretending to be a bit alarmed.

Sammy didn’t get a chance to respond. Crack! Over fell the tree Paddy had been cutting and the top of it fell straight into the alder in which Sammy was sitting. “Oh! Oh, my goodness!” Sammy cried, spreading his wings and flying away all flustered.

Paddy sat down and laughed until his sides ached. “Come make me another call some day and stay awhile Sammy!” he said. “And by the way, I know all about Old Man Coyote. You can tell him for me that when he is planning to catch people he should be careful not to leave footprints to give himself away.”


BEAVER Video #31

A possible beaver lodge has emerged along the beaver canal as a 3ft tall stick and mud pile now sits above the water line.

There has been melting ice in the beaver canal due to warm days with over 33 trees down to date and some floating pieces in the water. Paddy’s still been busy!

Collection of BEAVER videos #1- 44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 signs of beaver activity near my home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts were P.L.A.Y.-fully captured in photos and videos to share these wonder and awe filled adventures with you.

BEAVER – Chapter 15 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


A Footprint in the Mud

Very early one morning Paddy the Beaver heard Sammy Jay making a terrible fuss over in the aspen trees on the edge of the pond Paddy had made in the Green Forest. Paddy couldn’t see because he was inside his house, and it has no window, though he could still hear the commotion. He wrinkled up his brows thoughtfully.

“Seems to me that Sammy is very much excited about something this morning,” he said, talking to himself. “When he calls in alarm like that, Sammy is usually trying to do two things at once: make trouble for somebody and keep somebody else out of trouble. Now, I should say from the sounds that Sammy has discovered Reddy Fox trying to steal up on someone over where my aspen trees are growing. Reddy is afraid of me, and yet I suspect that he knows that Peter Rabbit has been hanging around here a lot lately, watching me work, and he thinks perhaps he can catch Peter. I shall have to whisper in one of Peter’s long ears and tell him to watch out.”

After a while he heard Sammy Jay’s voice growing fainter and fainter in the Green Forest. Finally he couldn’t hear it at all. “Whoever was there has gone away, and Sammy has followed them,” thought Paddy. He was very busy making a bed. He is very particular about his bed. He makes it of fine splinters of wood which he splits off with those wonderful great cutting teeth of his. This makes the driest kind of a bed. It requires a great deal of patience and work. He kept at it for some time after all was still outside.

At last Paddy decided that he would go over to his aspen trees and look them over to decide which ones he would cut the next night. He slid down one of his long halls, out the doorway at the bottom of the pond, and then swam up to the surface, where he floated for a few minutes with just his head out of water. And all the time his eyes and nose and ears were busy looking, smelling, and listening for any sign of danger. Everything was still. Sure that he was quite safe, Paddy swam across to the place where the aspen trees grew, and waddled out on the shore.

Paddy looked this way and looked that way. He looked up in the tree tops, and he looked off up the hill, and most of all he looked and studied the ground. You see, he hadn’t forgotten the fuss Sammy Jay had been making there, and he was trying to find out what it was all about. At first he didn’t see anything unusual, and then by and by he happened to notice a little wet place, and right in the middle of it was something that made Paddy’s eyes open wide. It was a footprint! Someone had stepped in the mud.

“A-ha!” exclaimed Paddy, and the hair on his back lifted ever so little, and for a minute he had a prickly feeling all over. The footprint was very much like that of Reddy Fox, only it was larger.

“Uh-oh!” said Paddy again, “that is the footprint of Old Man Coyote! I see I have got to watch out more sharply than I had thought. All right Mr. Coyote, you will probably be back here tonight looking for me, so I think I’ll do my cutting right now in the daytime.”


BEAVER Video #29

BEAVER Video #30


 Old Man Coyote has been on the prowl leaving paw prints as he passes by the new and old beaver dams.

Paddy IS a busy beaver with a trio of toppled trees and more in the works!

Collection of BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 signs of beaver activity near my home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts were P.L.A.Y.-fully captured in photos and videos to share these wonder and awe filled adventures with you.

BEAVER – Chapter 14 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


The Funny Food Storehouse

Everybody knew that Paddy the Beaver was laying up a supply of food for the winter, and everybody thought it was a funny kind of food. That is, everybody except Prickly Porky the Porcupine. Prickly Porky likes the same kind of food, and yet he never lays up a supply. He just goes out and gets it when he wants it, winter or summer. And what kind of food was it you might be wondering? It was bark, the bark of certain kinds of trees.

Now Prickly Porky can climb the trees and eat the bark right there, and Paddy the Beaver cannot, and if he should just eat the bark that he can reach from the ground it would take such a lot of trees to keep him filled up that he would soon spoil the Green Forest. When the bark is taken off a tree all the way around in a circle, the tree dies. That is because all the things that a tree draws out of the ground to make it grow and keep it alive are carried up from the roots in the sap, and the sap cannot go up the tree trunks and into the branches when the bark is taken off, because it is up the inside of the bark that it travels. So when the bark is taken from a tree all the way around the trunk, the tree just starves to death.

Now Paddy the Beaver loves the Green Forest dearly. You see, it is his home. Besides, Paddy never is wasteful. So he cuts down a tree so that he can get all the bark off of one instead of taking a little bark off of many. The bark he likes best is from the aspen. When he cannot get that, he will eat the bark from the poplar, the alder, the willow, and even the birch. He likes the aspen so much better than all the rest that he will work very hard to get it.

There were some aspen trees growing right on the edge of the pond Paddy had made in the Green Forest. These he cut just as he had cut the trees for his dam. As soon as a tree was down, he would cut it into short lengths, and with these swim out to where the water was deep, close to his new house. He took them one by one and carried the first ones to the bottom, where he pushed them into the mud just enough to hold them. Then, as fast as he brought more, he piled them on the first ones. And so the pile grew and grew.

Jerry Muskrat, Peter Rabbit, Bobby Coon, and the other little people of the Green Forest watched him with the greatest interest and curiosity. They couldn’t quite make out what he was doing. It was almost as if he were building the foundation for another house.

“What’s he doing, Jerry?” asked Peter, when he could keep still no longer.

“I don’t exactly know,” replied Jerry. “He said that he was going to lay in a supply of food for the winter, just as I told you, and I suppose that is what he is doing. I don’t quite understand what he is taking it all out into the pond for. I believe I’ll go ask him.”

“Please do, and then come share with us,” requested Peter, who was growing so curious that he couldn’t sit still.

So Jerry swam out to where Paddy was so busy. “Is this your food supply, Cousin Paddy?” he asked.

“Yes,” replied Paddy, crawling up on the side of his house to rest. “Yes, this is my food supply. Isn’t it splendid?”

“I guess it is,” replied Jerry, trying to be polite, “though I like lily roots and clams better. What are you going to do with it? Where is your storehouse?”

“This pond is my storehouse,” replied Paddy. “I will make a great pile right here close to my house, and the water will keep it nice and fresh all winter. When the pond is frozen over, all I will have to do is to slip out of one of my doorways down there on the bottom, swim over here and get a stick, and fill my stomach. Isn’t it handy?”


BEAVER Video #27

BEAVER Video #28

 Brrrr! Cold temperatures in the single digits both day and night and Paddy the Beaver still continues to show-up and get his work done. He stays warm, in part, thanks to his fur coat and thick tail that stores fat to burn for the whole winter.

Collection of BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 signs of beaver activity near my home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts were P.L.A.Y.-fully captured in photos and videos to share these wonder and awe filled adventures with you.

BEAVER – Chapter 13 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


Why Paddy the Beaver Has a Broad Tail

Usually the thing that interests us most is something that we do not have and that is the way with Peter Rabbit. Mind you Peter is pretty well satisfied with what he has, which is quite as it should be. There is only one thing with which Peter is really dissatisfied, and it is only once in a while, and that one thing would be his tail. Yes indeed, that cute fluffy puff of a tail is the one thing that ever really troubles Peter.

You see, Peter’s tail is simply a funny little bunch of cotton, which doesn’t really look like a tail at all. The only time he ever sees it is when he has his back to the Smiling Pool and looks over his shoulder at his reflection in the water, and then, of course, he really doesn’t see his tail itself. So sometimes when Peter sees the tails of his neighbors, he wishes for just a little while that he had more of a tail too. Why, even little Danny Meadow Mouse has a full length tail, short as it is. And as for Happy Jack Squirrel and Reddy Fox and Bobby Coon and Jimmy Skunk, folks know what full fluffy tails they have. Once Peter thought about it so much that Grandfather Frog noticed how serious he was and asked Peter what the trouble was. When Peter told him that it seemed odd to him that Old Mother Nature had given him such a little tail when she had given others such long fluffy ones, Grandfather Frog just opened his big mouth and laughed until he had to hold his sides.

“Why, Peter,” he said, “you look so serious, that I thought you really had something to worry about. What would you do with a long fluffy tail, if you had one? It would always be in your way. Just think how many times Reddy Fox or old Granny Fox have almost caught you. They certainly would have before this, if you had had a long tail sticking out behind for them to get hold of. I had a long tail when I was a young tadpole, and I was mighty glad to get rid of it.”

After he heard that, Peter felt better. He didn’t lose interest in tails though, and he spent a great deal of time in wondering why some of his neighbors had big, bushy tails and some had long, slim tails and why he himself had almost no tail at all. So when Paddy the Beaver came to live in the Green Forest, and made a pond there by building a wonderful dam across the Laughing Brook, Peter couldn’t help notice what kind of a tail Paddy had, and the first time he got a really good look at it, his eyes almost popped out of his head. He just stared and stared. All he could think of was that great, broad, flat, thick tail, which is so unlike any tail he had ever seen or heard of.

The very next morning he hurried over to the Smiling Pool to tell Grandfather Frog about it. Grandfather Frog’s big, goggly eyes twinkled.

“Chug-a-rum!” he said. “Paddy the Beaver has one of the most useful tails I know of. Would you like to know how he comes by such a unique tail?”

“Oh, yes please Grandfather Frog! I didn’t suppose there was such a special tail in all the world, and I am curious as to what possible uses it can have. Do tell me about it!” cried Peter.

Presently Grandfather Frog cleared his throat two or three times and began to talk.

“Once upon a time, long, long ago, when the world was young—”

“It seems to me that everything wonderful happened long ago when the world was young,” interrupted Peter.

Grandfather Frog looked at Peter and Peter quietly settled in to hear the story without interrupting further.

“Once upon on a time, long, long ago, lived Mr. Beaver, the great-great-ever-so-great grandfather of Paddy up there in the Green Forest. Old Mr. Beaver was one of the hardest and smartest working of all of Old Mother Nature’s big family, just as Paddy is today. He always seemed happiest when he was busiest, and because he liked to be happy all the time, he tried to keep busy all the time.”

“Mr. Beaver was also very thrifty. He believed in preparing today for what might happen tomorrow, and so when he had all the food he needed for the present, he stored away food for the time when it might not be so easy to get. And Mr. Beaver believed in helping himself and did not leave everything up to Old Mother Nature to do for him. That is how he first came to think of making a dam and a pond. Like his small cousin, Mr. Muskrat, he was very fond of the water, and felt most at home and safest there. Although he found that sometimes the food which he liked best, which was the bark of certain kinds of trees, grew some distance from the water, and it was the hardest kind of work to roll and drag the logs down to the water, where he could eat the bark from them in safety.”

“He thought about this a great deal, and instead of going to Old Mother Nature and complaining, he studied and studied to find some way to make the work easier. One day he noticed that a lot of sticks had caught in the stream where he made his home, and that because the water could not work its way between them as fast as where nothing hindered it, it made a little pool just above the sticks. That made him think harder than ever. He brought some of the logs and sticks from which he had gnawed the bark and fastened them with the others, and right away the pool grew bigger. The more sticks he added, the bigger the pool grew. Mr. Beaver had discovered what a dam is for and how to build it.”

“‘Why, if I make a pond at the place nearest to my food trees,’” thought Mr. Beaver, “ ‘I can carry the water to the trees instead of the trees to the water; and that will be easier and ever so much safer as well. ‘ ”

“So Mr. Beaver built a dam at just the right place, while all the other little people watched and wondered why he was working so hard. Just as he had thought it would do, the dam made a pond, and the pond grew bigger and bigger, until it reached the very place where his food trees grew. Mr. Beaver built himself a big, comfortable house out in the pond, and then he went to work as hard as ever and he cut down trees and then cut them up into the right sized pieces to store away in his big food pile for the winter.”

“Now cutting down trees is very hard work. Mr. Beaver had to sit up on his hind legs to do it, and his legs grew very, very tired. In those days he had a tail very much like the tail of Jerry Muskrat. It was very useful when he was swimming and that was all. Sometimes he tried to brace himself with it—when he was sitting up to cut trees – however that didn’t work very well and so he stopped often to rest his aching legs which slowed down his work.”

“He was working just as usual one day when Old Mother Nature came along to see how he was getting on. She saw the new dam and the new pond, and she asked Mr. Beaver who had made them. He told her that he had and explained why. Old Mother Nature was greatly pleased to hear of his progress and stayed awhile to watch him cut a tree. She saw him try to brace himself with his tail and she saw him stop often to rest his aching tired legs.”

“‘That looks to me like pretty hard work,’” said Old Mother Nature.

“‘So it is,’ replied Mr. Beaver, stretching first one leg and then another. ‘Things worth having are worth working for,’ and with that he began cutting again.”

“‘You ought to have something to sit on,’” said Old Mother Nature, her eyes twinkling.

“Mr. Beaver nodded. ‘It would be very nice,’ he confessed, and went right on cutting without giving it a second thought.”

“Well the next morning he awoke to the greatest surprise of his life. He had a new tail! It was broad and thick and flat. It wasn’t like any tail he had ever seen or heard of. At first he didn’t know how to manage it, and yet when he tried to swim, he found that it was even better than his old tail for swimming. He hurried over to begin his day’s work, and there he made another discovery; his new tail was just the most splendid brace! It was almost like a stool to sit on, and he could work all day long without tiring his legs. Mr. Beaver was so very happy, and to show how happy he was, he worked harder than ever. And later he found that his new tail was just what he needed to pat down the mud with which he covered the roof of his house.”

“‘Why,’ he cried out with great joy, ‘I believe it is the most useful tail in all the world! Thank you Mother Nature!'”

“And that,” concluded Grandfather Frog, “is how Mr. Beaver came by his broad tail. And ever since that long-ago day, all Beavers have had broad tails.”


BEAVER Video #25

BEAVER Video #26

 Awwww SNAP! Paddy’s work has a set back as the tree he was gnawing snaps during a heavy wind, rain, and snow storm and has left this tree in a precarious position. Will he try to take it down or move on?

 Old Dam – New Dam

The recent heavy rain and snow storm washed away parts of Paddy’s first dam and so he has now built a second dam further up the beaver canal, roughly 6 feet or so from the original location as well as approximately 6 feet across.

Collection of BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 signs of beaver activity near my home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts were P.L.A.Y.-fully captured in photos and videos to share these wonder and awe filled adventures with you.

Forest Bathing with the Family – A Daily Simple Gift!

Have you ever stood amongst the trees in mid-autumn in awe of the wonderful canvas of color before you and wondered how the leaves change color or know when to fall?

Have you ever been in a pine forest with fog rolling in and felt the stillness of hushed sounds all around and only an echo of a bird calling in the distance?

Have you ever walked about after a winter ice storm to see the sparkling sun shine through the coated branches?

Have you ever stood under the canopy of a maple tree during a light spring rain shower and watched the water droplets roll off the tips of the leaves?

Then perhaps forest bathing may be something you’ve been doing for awhile now and the phrase is simply new to you. Or perhaps you’ve been spending a great deal of time indoors and the thought of time spent amongst the trees brings you back to childhood or a more peaceful time in your life.

Either way, now is a great time to reconnect to the idea of spending time in nature and to learn more about the benefits of soaking up your natural surroundings for a few moments each day, or as often as you can, for your health and well being and that of your family.

The bonus is you’ve come to the right place as P.L.A.Y. is very much here to help you connect and engage with this concept of forest bathing. The daily blog posts on P.L.A.Y.  are here to encourage the whole family to find the nearest nature path or patch, be present and allow for your sense of curiosity and wonder to kick in, and make the essence of P.L.A.Y.  a routine practice.

Forest Bathing For Families

Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness

by Dr. Qing Li

Dr. Qing Li, a scientist in Japan, explains in his book Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness and how the term shinrin-yoku (or forest bathing) came about in the 1980’s. He also shares the many ways spending time in the forest or in a nature setting can make a world of difference in your health and well being. As a scientist he has gathered the data over time to show skeptics why spending frequent time in the forest is beneficial for improved sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, increased energy boost, a natural way to connect with loved ones, and so much more. And as a human he has experienced these benefits first hand.

❤ ❤ ❤

I too have discovered, through simple curiosity and P.L.A.Y. , that heading outdoors daily in all seasons has had a beneficial impact on how I see and feel and experience this world. Being outdoors routinely has increased my creativity, provided a sense of calm even during challenging times, and given me the opportunity to learn so much more about my natural surroundings here in New England.

Forest bathing and nature walking have been so beneficial to my well being and that of my family that I just had to share these experiences and encourage others to join the journey. This has been the catalyst for creating P.L.A.Y. – Passionate Learning All Year and keeps me consistently returning to my neck-of-the-woods to see what new wonders have appeared right outside my door and eagerly passing forward these gifts through this blog to you and your family.

Hannah Fries, author of Forest Bathing Retreat: Find Wholeness in the Company of Trees, has also created a wonderful guide that is a great companion to Dr. Qing Li’s book and is just the right size for the whole family to engage with and be inspired by both the photos and prompts. An example of a prompt found mid-way through the book is “As you watch a tree sway in the wind, let your knees and shoulders relax. Sway a little on your own stem.” Or another example is ” Find harmony as you look closely at the natural world, you may begin to see patterns amid what seems like chaos -unexpected connections thrumming everywhere around us.” Hannah’s book is a balm in these times as we all need to find peace-filled spaces and moments to simply be present and in awe of nature which can help us feel grounded and safe on Mother Earth even in the midst of uncertainty.

Note: The foreword to Hannah’s book is written by Robin Wall Kimmerer the author of the well known and also much recommended Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.


Time to gather up your gaggle of giggling gifts, aka kiddos + family all – Fido too, and announce you’re going for a bath in the forest – together!

It’s P.L.A.Y. Time!

Please pass forward this Simple Gift to inspire and encourage loved ones, both near and far, on their

naturally curious and creative P.L.A.Y. journey. 🙂

BEAVER – Chapter 12 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


Jerry Muskrat Learns Something

Of course Peter told every one he met that Paddy the Beaver was building his house in a curious manner, and that Jerry Muskrat, who builds his house in the Smiling Pool and ought to know, said it was so too.

So whenever they got the chance, the little people of the Green Forest and the Green Meadows would steal up to the shore of Paddy’s new pond and sit and wonder as they looked out at the great pile of sticks and mud which Paddy had built for a house, in which it looked as if he had forgotten to make a room.

Jerry and Peter sat in the moonlight talking it over. Paddy had stopped bringing sticks for his wall. He dove down out of sight, and he was gone a long time. Suddenly Jerry noticed that the water had grown very, very muddy all around Paddy’s new house. He wrinkled his brows trying to think what Paddy could be doing. Presently Paddy came up for air. Then he went down again, and the water grew muddier than ever. This went on for a long time. Every little while Paddy would come up for air and a few minutes of rest. Then down he would go, and the water would grow muddier and muddier.

At last Jerry could stand it no longer. He just had to see what was going on. He slipped into the water and swam over to where the water was muddiest. Just as he got there up came Paddy.

“Hello, Cousin Jerry!” he said. “I was just going to invite you over to see what you think of the inside of my house. Just follow me.”

Paddy dove, and Jerry dove after him. He followed Paddy in at one of the three doorways under water and up a smooth hall right into the biggest, nicest bedroom Jerry had ever seen in all his life. He just gasped in sheer surprise. Here he was in this splendid great room up above the water, and he had been so sure that there wasn’t any room at all! He just didn’t know what to make of it!

Paddy’s eyes twinkled. “Well,” he said, “what do you think of it?”

“I–I–think it is splendid, just perfectly splendid! However, I don’t understand it at all, Cousin Paddy. Where is that great pile of mud I helped you build in the middle?” Jerry said sounding quite confused.

“Why, I’ve dug it all away. That’s what made the water so muddy,” replied Paddy.

“Well why did you build it in the first place?” Jerry persisted.

“Because I had to have something to rest my sticks against while I was building my walls,” replied Paddy. “When I got the tops fastened together for a roof, they didn’t need a support any longer, and then I dug it away to make this room. I couldn’t have built such a big room any other way.”

“A-mazing,” said Jerry.


BEAVER Video #23

BEAVER Video #24

 Paddy has stepped out of his lodge and made his mark again with a tail trail to the open and flowing river even though the beaver canal is all iced over.

Beaver canal all iced over after many days and nights with frigid temperatures.

 Rising water levels have impacted the beaver dam and the river after a heavy 24 hour winter rain storm passes through.

Collection of BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 signs of beaver activity near my home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts were P.L.A.Y.-fully captured in photos and videos to share these wonder and awe filled adventures with you.

BEAVER – Chapter 11 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


Peter Rabbit and Jerry Muskrat Are Puzzled

Jerry Muskrat took Paddy up on his invitation and visited every night to watch Paddy at work building his new home. Peter Rabbit was there too and so one night Jerry swam over to see what Peter thought of the building project. As Jerry approached he found Peter sitting up very straight and staring with big round eyes at the platform of mud and sticks out in the water where Paddy the Beaver was at work.

“Well, Peter, what do you think of it?” asked Jerry.

“What is it?” asked Peter with great curiosity. “Is it another dam?”

Jerry chuckled a bit to himself and then exclaimed “Why it’s Paddy’s new house!”

“Wow – I didn’t know that that pile of mud and sticks is meant for a house!” Peter said with even greater curiosity and amazement, ”it certainly doesn’t look it. Where is the door?”

“Well, this is what I can tell you,” replied Jerry, “it has a door all right. In fact, it has three doors. You can’t see them because they are under water, and there is a passage from each right up through that platform of mud and sticks, which is the foundation of the house. It really is a very fine foundation, Peter; it really is. I just can’t figure out why Paddy is building that great pile of mud right in the middle. When he gets his walls built, where will his bedroom be? There doesn’t look to be much room for him at all.”

Peter scratched his head and then pulled his whiskers thoughtfully as he gazed out at the pile in the water where Paddy the Beaver looked like he was piling sticks.

Now all this time Paddy had been hard at work. He was bringing the longest branches which he had cut from the trees out of which he had built his dam, and a lot of slender willow and alder poles. He pushed these ahead of him as he swam. When he reached the foundation of his house, he would lean them against the pile of mud in the middle with their big ends resting on the foundation. So he worked all the way around until by and by the mud pile in the middle couldn’t be seen. It was completely covered with sticks, and they were cunningly fastened together at the tops.


BEAVER Video #21

BEAVER Video #22

 Paddy the Beaver has been leaving clues of his work with both a tail trail off in the distance heading for the river (far right) and breaking through ice holes in the beaver canal (bottom center).

 Munch, munch, munch, Paddy the Beaver taste tests his lunch!

Collection of BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 signs of beaver activity near my home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts were P.L.A.Y.-fully captured in photos and videos to share these wonder and awe filled adventures with you.

BEAVER – Chapter 10 – The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver (Annotated)

Just joining the adventure? Try Chapter 1 HERE


Paddy Starts His New Home

Jerry Muskrat was very much interested when he found that Paddy the Beaver, who, you know, is his cousin, was building a house. Jerry is a house builder himself. His house was down in the Smiling Pool, and Jerry thought it a very wonderful house indeed, and was very proud of it. It was built of mud and sod and little alder and willow twigs and bulrushes. Jerry had spent one winter in it, and he had decided to spend another there after he had fixed it up a little. So, as long as he didn’t have to build a brand new house, he could afford the time to watch his cousin Paddy. Perhaps, he hoped, Paddy would ask his advice.

However, Paddy did nothing of the kind. So Jerry sat on the end of an old log and watched Paddy work. The first thing to build was the foundation. This was of mud and grass with sticks worked into it to hold it together. Paddy dug the mud from the bottom of his new pond. And because the pond was new, there was a great deal of grassy sod there, which was just what Paddy needed. It was very convenient.

Jerry watched a little while and then, because Jerry is a worker himself, he just had to get busy and help. Rather timidly he told his big cousin that he would like to help in building the new house.

“All right,” replied Paddy, “that will be fine. You can bring mud while I am getting the sticks and grass.”

So Jerry, happy to help, dove down to the bottom of the pond and dug up mud and piled it on the foundation. The little stars looked down and twinkled merrily as they watched the two workers. So the foundation grew and grew down under the water. Jerry was very much surprised at the size of it. It was ever and ever so much bigger than the foundation for his own house. You see, he had forgotten how much bigger Paddy is than he.

Each night Jerry and Paddy worked, resting during the daytime. Occasionally Bobby Coon or Reddy Fox or Unc’ Billy Possum or Jimmy Skunk would come to the edge of the pond to see what was going on. Peter Rabbit came every night. They couldn’t see much though because, you know, Paddy and Jerry were working under water.

At last Peter was rewarded for his patience. There, just above the water, was a splendid platform of mud and grass and sticks. A great many sticks were carefully laid as soon as the platform was above the water, for Paddy was very particular about this. You see, it was to be the floor for the splendid room he was planning to build. When it suited him, he began to pile mud in the very middle.

Jerry puzzled and puzzled over this. Where was Paddy’s room going to be, if he piled up the mud that way? He didn’t like to ask questions though, so he kept right on helping. Paddy would dive down to the bottom and then come up with double handfuls of mud, which he held against his chest. He would scramble out onto the platform and waddle over to the pile in the middle, where he would put the mud and pat it down. Then back to the bottom for more mud.

And so the mud pile grew and grew, until it was quite two feet high. “Now,” said Paddy, “I’ll build the walls, and I guess you can’t help me much with those. I’m going to begin them tomorrow night. Perhaps you will like to see me do it, Cousin Jerry.”

“I certainly would,” replied Jerry, still puzzling over that pile of mud in the middle.


BEAVER Video #19

BEAVER Video #20

 Beaver Tail Trail WITH Paw Prints!

Typically Paddy’s paw prints are wiped out when his tail passes by so this was a rare treat.

Fairly recent beaver footprints dusted with snow.

 Paddy the Beaver has been busy with construction work along the river’s edge.

Collection of BEAVER videos #1-44 on PINTEREST

From January 2019 to March 2020 signs of beaver activity near my home in the hilltowns of Massachusetts were P.L.A.Y.-fully captured in photos and videos to share these wonder and awe filled adventures with you.