Tucked away in a remote stream valley in Vermont, a dynasty of beavers has nearly completed the restoration of the meadows and ponds that adorned this stream in the days before the beavers of a continent were turned into top hats. Willow, Popple, and their progeny begin the night's work of dam repair, scent marking, tree felling until a soft call alerts them to the arrival of the strange honorary member of their clan, the book's author, Patti Smith. They scramble ashore and poke eagerly about her feet as she prepares to picnic and to record the events that transpire on the shores of Popple's Pond.
Through the seasons, and through the years, these records – transformed into interwoven vignettes – invite the reader to enter the world of the beavers and the other inhabitants of the wetlands. Meet Terrible Jack the lonely moose, Henri the civilized goose, and the myriad small creatures that populate the night forest. The author, a native of this landscape, brings a naturalist's eye and a compassionate voice to these stories. After three years with the beavers, readers are invited to accompany the author to other worlds where different characters await. Keep Beavers of Popple's Pond wherever you have a moment for a short adventure – to follow the trail of a bear cub through the moonlight, enter the low-roofed world of the snowshoe hare, or to stand in the midst of a melee of migrating amphibians. These stories offer respite to those wearied by the barrage of bad news, and a chance to reconnect with the nature that perseveres around us.
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Patti Smith is a naturalist at the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center (BEEC) in Brattleboro, Vermont, where she writes and teaches about natural history. She lives in the foothills of Vermont's Green Mountains.