Posted on 7 Comments

Beavers, Fur, and Rocks: Our Family’s Outdoor Hour Challenge

This week we took time to review a little bit about beavers since we regularly visit an area where we see evidence of them. If you read my blog regularly, you have seen photos of the beaver lodges and the trees gnawed on by beavers.

My son really enjoyed watching the YouTube videos on beavers and we read the section in the Handbook on muskrats.

Our outdoor time this week was spent exploring an area off the trail we normally take. It led us to what we are now calling Fern Gully. This area is found by following what we think is a deer trail down off the main trail and into a steep little gully. We have heard water running in this area before and we presume that when it rains hard enough there is water running down the rocks. We will test our theory the next chance we get.

Here is another photo looking the other way down the gully.

There are lots of blackberry vines. We are interested to see how this area looks in the summertime. We imagine it being a cool place to sit in the shade. It should be interesting to see how the area changes as the seasons change.

We found more fur on the side of the trail…a lot this time.

We still are puzzled by the fur mystery. I looked at it very closely and it is really fluffy and very soft. It is white…with a slight yellowish color to it. There is no blood or tracks or other signs of struggle. I have no idea where it came from but this is the third spot on the mile and a half trail that we have seen this fur. Last week we began to wonder if it was a dog’s fur but it just doesn’t feel like any dog fur that I have felt before. Someone suggested in a comment that it could be sheep’s wool but it is no way the texture of wool and there are definitely no sheep in this area. Hmmmm…still wondering.

We came across an area that has these wonderful quartz rocks. Really, really pretty.

Here is the backside.

I am so interested in studying rocks but I am nervous about being overwhelmed with trying to identify them. Any suggestions?

Well, that wraps up this post for our Outdoor Hour Challenge this week. We had some adventures and some good questions this week. Last night we had two inches of snow so we were able to complete our Winter Wednesday snow activities from a few weeks ago. I was glad that we had planned ahead of time and had the experiments in our mind as it began to snow. I will post those results soon.


Quartz samples

7 thoughts on “Beavers, Fur, and Rocks: Our Family’s Outdoor Hour Challenge

  1. Could the “fur” actually be down?

  2. It is definitely hair of some sort.

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  3. Wild Rabbits begin breeding in early February. Didn’t you have a few days of warmth awhile back? Could that have triggered the Rabbits to breed and then to pull underfur for their nests? Alternatively, perhaps it is just two bucks fighting for territory rather than early nesting behavior in a female?

  4. Now that is a great idea…I will have to look into it since the fur is very much like the texture of rabbit’s fur. Thanks for the tip!

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  5. My oldest daughter was really into rocks. She met a nice elderly man at our church who shared her passion. They became best of friends, he being a psuedo-grandparent after awhile. She cleaned the couple’s house; he taught her wood carving carpentry, rock stuff, and a love of good literature. She sang at his funeral; The wife made my daughter’s wedding dress. Anyway they looked up rock specimens in the Audubon guide book that was part of a set he insisted we buy. There were 10 or 12 different books on animals trees, etc. Maybe that would be a good resource for you.

  6. I am thinking the fur is rabbit fur from an abandoned or disturbed nest.
    As for identifying rocks, the kids and I really like using this online dichotomous key:
    Try it and see what you think!

  7. We think it is rabbit fur after today’s walk in the snow. We saw *tons* of rabbit tracks in the snow all over the areas that we have been seeing the fur.

    Thanks so much for the link and the info!

    Mystery solved.
    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *