BLMs Grant & Lee

Judy writes:

I have 4 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I have two species in my yard.  The one that lives on the west side eats apples from my yard.  I believe it is a wood chuck.  On the east side of my property lives a ground hog which eats the bugs from our yard after we mow.  There used to be 2 on the east side, but this past summer I only saw one.



Thank you Judy for your submission! As I’m sure you know, the Blue Ridge Mountains played a very significant role during the American Civil War. The Confederate army used the natural peaks and ridges of the mountain range to shield their movements from Union forces. And the mountains contained various passes and roads that were utilized by both armies as they moved from place to place.

I can only assume that your property sits on or near an important Civil War-related historical site and that the two types of BLMs you describe are modern-day manifestations of brave fallen soldiers. I know that you describe an eastern and a western BLM, but perhaps if you just shift things around a little, you could agree you actually have a northern and a southern BLM?

Hopefully, your BLMs will not go to war over the apple versus insect issue.

The BLM that you describe as being missing from the eastern portion of your property has probably been sent to Richmond as reinforcement.

Posted in Virginia | Leave a comment

I am the Dear Abby of beaver identification

Hello faithful readers. It is spring, the time when beaver-like mammals, and websites devoted to beaver-like mammals, come out of hibernation. We are awake! At this time of year some people are praying for bountiful summer harvests. I pray for a bountiful beaver season. Let’s make 2009 the best year yet for BLM sightings! To get things started, we have this wonderful submission from Minnesota. Yay, a new state! BLM fever is spreading. It’s the new swine flu:


My name is Rachel and I think I might have a sighting. I did not personally see this creature, but my boyfriend and roommate did earlier this evening. I guess it was stocky, and the story is that it was running around our back yard and quickly jumped into the tree you see it in. It appeared to have a bushy tail. So I am just perplexed. They also said that it could probably take on our dog (who is a 40lb 3 year old beagle) so I think it is probably 20-30 lbs or maybe more. The picture is from far away, but if you zoom in you can get a pretty good look at it. We can’t figure out what this thing is! I live in Mankato, MN (located in the south central part of Minnesota) Let me know what you think!




Well, Rachel, I have spent a lot of time looking at beaver-like mammals and have become quite adept at identifying them. It seems clear to me that what your boyfriend and roommate saw is a Tasmanian Devil.

According to Wikipedia, the Tasmanian Devil has a “squat and thick build”, which is consistent with the word you used – “stocky”. In addition, the Tasmanian Devil stores body fat in its tail. In my professional opinion, your boyfriend and roommate did not see a bushy tail, but rather a fat tail. You are very lucky to live in close proximity to a creature that is so rare in the midwestern portion of the United States.

Please note that although a Tasmanian Devil can run as fast as 8.1 miles per hour for short distances, it is no match for a dog.

Thanks for writing!

Posted in Minnesota | 5 Comments

A Belmont BLM

A few years ago, word on the street was that all the BLMs were moving to Belmont because it was *the* hot new neighborhood. Well, times have changed, and I was really concerned that a tepid real estate market paired with unwise mortgage choices might have caused the BLMs to flee. Luckily, my good friend Heather just spotted a BLM right in the heart of Belmont. And it’s a fat one at that, so it’s obviously doing OK. Thank goodness:

OMG, OMG, I just saw a huge BLM – in my backyard in Belmont! It lives under my neighbor’s dilapidated shed just on the other side of the fence and is a never ending source of aggravation for Miss Izzy, the younger of my two dogs, and, by extension, all of the neighbors within earshot. I just stepped out onto the back porch to let the pups out and there it was in my back yard making a dash for the shrubs along the fence line. God knows how it got into the puppy-proofed yard, but you can be sure I’ll be investigating. Izzy’s down there now madly dashing up and down the fence line trying to follow the scent.  

As for a description, all I can offer is fat, round, brown, and fast.

Cheers, Heather  

Thanks Heather! Keep dogs and BLMs separated, please.

Posted in Charlottesville, Virginia | Leave a comment

My Aunt Holly continues to keep the faith…

…which is more than I can say for most of my friends and acquaintances. I know *some* of you have seen BLMs this summer. Come on!

Hi Phoebe – On Sunday, June 29 at 11:30 AM, I spotted from the kitchen window a medium sized groundhog meandering across our garden underneath the bird feeders.  She/he seemed in no particular hurry; I think she/he was there to celebrate Aunt Rita’s birthday….who knows.  This morning I spotted a rather large rabbit.  I realize a rabbit is not a “beaver like” mammal but thought I would report it anyway.  In that ilk, we are now getting hummingbirds since I put up a special feeder for them AND there is a deer coming at night to nibble on some of my flowers.  All of this from Windsor, CT (the oldest town in CT celebrating its 375th birthday this summer) and where wildlife is always welcome. Love from your Aunt Holly.

Thanks Aunt Holly!

Posted in Connecticut | Leave a comment

There is a town called Braddock, Pennsylvania

braddock: a flourishing city of 20,000 residents. home to andrew carnegie’s first steel mill and free library. wealth. amenities. expansive shopping district. dozens of churches. movie theaters. furniture stores. breweries. schools.

braddocc: a malignantly beautiful town of 2,500 residents. unofficially renamed by dropping the ‘k’ for a ‘c’ by young and disenfranchised for its crip allegiance. still home to carnegie’s first steel mill and free library. no movie theaters. no furniture stores. no breweries…no hope?

the battle for braddocc: can a town that lost nearly 90% of its population, homes, and businesses come back? could braddock’s remaining assets be leveraged by new ideas, energy, individuals to spark a cultural and economic revitalization?

richly historic. large enough to matter. small enough to impact. an unparalleled opportunity for the urban pioneer, artist, or misfit to be a part of a new, experimental effort.

This beaver-like mammal calls Braddock home:



Posted in Pennsylvania | 2 Comments

For those who enjoy gossiping about beavers

We have achieved our second piece of press coverage! Thanks for spreading the word about this website.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

UBLM: Unidentified Beaver-Like Mammal

Dianna provides us with our first submission from Illinois:

Okay. I have searching the internet all day to figure out what I saw this past Saturday. I wish I had taken a picture, but I was just trying to figure out what the little buddy was doing in the middle of the road. I live in Plainfield, Illinois. I was driving and in the middle of the road (next to a corn field and Family Video) there was a beaver-like mammal right there. I was at a light, so I rolled down the window and literally said “Hey, are you alright little buddy?” He looked at me with his beaver like eyes/face and turned around and starting walking slowly the other way. That is when I saw his tail. Not at all beaver-like. It was long and hairy, but sort of flat like a ribbon, and didn’t look stiff. I have no idea what I saw. Maybe he was a muskrat with a hairy tail, or a Nutria…but they are extinct in Illinois.Hmmmmm…the mystery. I hope I see him again.

Posted in Illinois | 1 Comment

First submission of 2008!

Skip writes:

You should ask WBLM radio in Portland, Maine to link to your site. The generally leave off the “W” when doing station identifications and just use “BLM”.

Anyway, my name is Skip and I saw this really tame groundhog in Fort Halifax park in Winslow ME on July 25, 2007. I was using a zoom lens, and was about 30 feet away from him. I was surprised to be able to get so close, since he would have had to cross about 100 feet of open lawn to get to some sort of cover. Here he is, at a life-threatening distance of about 30′ with no crop at 400mm. These guys are faster than greased lightning and can cover small distances like that in the blink of an eye, so I was pretty nervous. Luckily, he had fed well, and the desire to slash human throats was suppressed enough to allow this encounter with no direct confrontation. I stood my ground when he flashed his razor-sharp teeth and growled at me. I don’t expect to always be this lucky.

Thanks Skip for the captivating story and great photos. Let’s hope this exciting sighting is a preview of things to come for BLM Season 2008.


Posted in Maine | Leave a comment

I live in the Number One City for Beaver Like Mammals!

Bill writes:

From my back porch sometimes I can see as many as 3 BLMs at once, scattered across my neighbors’ yards. The City is to BLMs as Shenandoah National Park is to deer. The City is a place where BLMs can live without fear. No danger from hunters, no danger from off leash dogs. CHO is a BLM center. Charlottesville is the Number One City for Beaver Like Mammals!This silver-back in the yard of #### Woolen Mills RD (a.k.a. Market Street).

Thanks so much Bill! I hope you are right that BLMs are safe in Charlottesville. I am always so concerned when I see them grazing by the side of the road. I do wish we could hire BLM crossing guards. Do you think Charlottesville would consider changing the official city slogan to “CHO is a BLM center” or “Charlottesville is the Number One City for Beaver Like Mammals!”? I think both those phrases have a very nice ring. Also, this is an awesome photo of a very noble-looking BLM:


And the BLM’s closeup:


Posted in Charlottesville, Virginia | 2 Comments

BLMs enjoy delicious southern foods

Today I received this fantastic submission:

My name is Miss Butler. One day I was looking out my sister’s patio in Grandview, Missouri (that’s right off Jackson and Blue Ridge Blvd) and I saw this BLM and was able to get pics of it. It came up from the water out back of her house and was in her garden eating collard greens like he’d planted them himself! Each time we’d open the patio door – he would run away, but return in about 15 minutes to eat more greens and sweet potato vines… he would pick a leaf of greens and stick the whole thing down his throat! It was amazing to watch! These pictures were shot through the sliding glass door in August 2007. Thank you.

I would like to extend a sincere thanks to Miss Butler for submitting our first Missouri-based sighting! And for proving that BLMs have good taste in food, mmm.



Posted in Missouri | 2 Comments