On Beaver Lake


Beaver Lake hasn’t changed much over the years – that’s why I like it.

The sentinel trees. The stacked canoes. The trail filled with dog-walkers and day-meditators. It’s a nice little retreat. You forget about the shopping center shoving its shoulder into one end of the bucolic little setting, and the sad little strip malls starting further north up Merrimon.

The changes that I’m aware of have mostly been minor. They dredged the lake a few years ago, heaving great amounts of muck and mud out after draining it.

And they added a little wetland area to the shopping center side. There’s a boardwalk through that area now, with little benches and a sitting area. Nice.

I’m not sure what all will be contained in that strip mall. It used to be just one sad little steakhouse. Now the development feels like it’s hanging right over the beavers’ home base. I don’t like it.

Still, Beaver Lake is a pleasant little retreat. Seven geese honked in this morning for a watery landing. Ducks paddled their way around tiny inlets. Traffic nearby melted away. I’m so taken in that I’m startled when an older couple walking a scruffy-looking mutt appears ahead of me along the wooden walk.
Nuthatches and chickadees, cardinals and sparrows – even a few robins – fluttered through the mottled leaves and bare branches.

It’s not Walden or golden, but the little lake has its own allure. I hope it doesn’t change.