North American Beaver Stamp

North American Beaver

The Stamp

The Ministry of Canadian Posts issued the first postal stamp in 1851 and decided the subject was to commemorate the natural animal inhabitants of the Province of Canada. The stamp design depicts the beavers that flourish in Canada. Then, almost 125 years later on March 24, 1975, the beaver, species name Castor canadensis, received the highest honor ever bestowed on a rodent. On that day it became, by the Canadian Beaver Act, an official emblem and symbol of the sovereignty of Canada. The stamp on the left has a postal value of 3 cents, issued in 1851, red in various shades. Printed on white Laid paper using the engraved process, and imperforated. The design measures 23 mm x 19 mm. In the sky behind the beaver there appears a sun symbol with three dots. The dots may be the engraver’s secret marks? The Scott’s catalog #1 has a mint never hinged catalog value of US$27,500.00 in the catalog issued 2010.

The center stamp has a Quebec 5 cents revenue value, in various shades of blue green. Printed on white un-watermarked paper using the engraved process, perforated 12 x 12. The stamp in design measures 22½ mm x 28½ mm. The catalog #QR1 has a never hinged value of US$0.20.

The stamp on the right has a postal value of 5 cents, issued in 1859, vermilion in various shades. Printed on white Wove paper using the engraved process, perforated 12 x 12. The design measures 23 mm x 19 mm., also with the sun symbol and three dots. The Scott’s catalog #15 has a never hinged catalog value of US$525.00 in the catalog issued 2010.

The only stamp above within the budget of most collectors is #QR1. Mint or used, this stamps is a must have for your Beaver and Canada collection. Forget about collecting the extremely rare Scott’s #1 & #15.

Harm not, God’s Perfect Carpenters

North American BeaverThe North American Beaver is the only species of beaver in the Americas, native to North America and introduced into South America. In the United Sates and Canada, where no other species of beaver occurs, it is simply referred to as ‘the beaver’. It is the largest rodent in North America and the third largest rodent in the world. Adults usually weigh from 33 to 77 lbs. and measure 3.3 ft. in total body length. The beaver is semi-aquatic. It has a large paddle-shaped tail and large, webbed hind feet. The front paws are small-fingered claws. The eyes are covered by a thin membrane like reptilesto keep the eyes clear, which allows the beaver to see underwater. The nostrils and ears are sealed while submerged. A thick layer of fat under its skin insulates the beaver from its cold water environment. The beaver's fur consists of long, coarse outer hairs and short, fine inner hairs. The fur is usually dark brown. Scent glands near the genitals secrete an oily substance, which the beaver uses to waterproof its fur. With these physique endowed features, who on earth would want to harm these cutesie creatures?

To Dam or not To Dam

Beavers before building a dam, will examine the surrounding environment. They determine the existing inventory of available young tree saplings up to 3 inches in diameter that they use for the dam and lodge. They examine the shoreline for the consistency of the mud. Clay type mud is ideal. The vegetation on the brook or steam shoreline must have thick grassy growth with tough fibers. The water must be at least 2 feet deep so they can move the construction material around. The speed of the water flow in the stream is important. They prefer from 1 to 3 mph. If most or all of the conditions are present, the beaver starts the dam. If not, he looks for better pastures to build upon. The beavers are mainly active at night. They are excellent swimmers but are more vulnerable on land and tend to remain in the water as much as possible. They are able to remain submerged for up to 15 minutes. They use their flat, scaly tail both to signal danger or scare off predators by slapping the surface of the water. The sound of the tail slapping the water is very loud. It sounds like a wide flat board hitting flat on the ground. They construct their home, out of young tree saplings, various twigs, and clay mud for a near perfect seal from the environment and predators. They prefer to build on lakes, brooks and streams. They are well known for building dams across streams and constructing their lodge in the middle of the artificial pond, which they create. The beaver’s natural predators include gray wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions. There are others predators, but not as common like bobcats and bears.

To Un-Dam or not to Un-Dam, the Contest of Endurance

It is very important that all humans remember the natural law of nature, which is simple and clear; Harm not the beaver. When it becomes necessary to stop the beaver’s construction of a dam, it must be considered first whether the dam being built will cause a problem that can not be accepted. If the beaver’s dam will not matter, its best to let it be, least the beaver move to an area causing more worry.

If you decided to remove the dam, the contest begins between man and beaver. You must remember that the beaver has some advantages that you must learn in order for you to prevail. The first, the beaver uses water to his advantage. The second, the beaver is a professional dam builder. The third, the beaver understands the law of physics and sturdy construction. The fourth, the beaver uses mud and grass as an effective glue and cement. The fifth, the beaver will not reuse material that failed to hold the construction. The sixth, the beaver will build and rebuild within reason. And finally the seventh, the beaver has endurance but does have a limit.

It is important that you use these traits as your defense. When you start, you must be able to wade in 2 to 3 feet of still or running water. As you approach the dam, the beaver will not be seen, but he sees you. He will not confront you, but if present, he may slap his tail on the surface of the water to scare you. While wearing waterproof gloves, the mud and clay needs to be removed first in order to remove the twigs and saplings interlocked cleverly by the beaver. Move the material toward the shore while floating in the water just like the beaver does. This will delay the weight lift to happen at the shore only. Of the materials put on the bank of the shore, the beaver will not use again because that material failed to hold. He considers it inferior material. You must remove all material from the dam to make the area as clean as he first saw it. The beaver must feel disappointed about the dam removal as you were about the existence of the dam. Every day you must return to the site and clean everything and pile on the bank of the shore. Any material removed will be newer and stronger. You must continue everyday until the beaver stops. This will continue for about seven days. Then the beaver will stop, but he is cleaver. He will wait 2 or 3 days and start again with a small build to see if you will clean again. You must keep up with him and clean out every piece. The beaver will wait a full week without building and the start again to check your endurance. Keep up with him because this will be the victory clean up. The clean up must be squeaky-clean when finished. Then mount to the closest tree to the beaver build area, a water-resistant Splash Dance unit (Google "Splash Dance") with the sound speakers facing the beaver build area. Turn on the unit and tune the frequency to a clear gabby channel. Set the volume to no louder than voice loudness. Use the Splash Dance unit for one week. Since gabby channels will talk a dog off a meat wagon, the beaver will be afraid and look for a better pasture. Maybe!