Canada Have you spotted a satellite dish on a beaver dam? Here's why it's happening

16:03  10 august  2020
16:03  10 august  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

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Satellite Dish - The satellite dish is just a special kind of antenna designed to focus on a specific broadcast source. Find out how a satellite dish works. The dish on the receiving end can't transmit information; it can only receive it . The receiving dish works in the exact opposite way of the transmitter.

The reason why these dishes are so large is weaker satellites , satellite spacing but also because the frequency is much lower than Ku, the wavelengths are larger and a larger dish is needed to exhibit the amount of gain needed to provide a watchable signal. The C band does not experience rain fade.

a bird standing on top of a grass covered forest: This beaver lodge on Onion Lake Road in Thunder Bay, Ont., has been equipped with a satellite dish since May. © Heather Kitching/CBC This beaver lodge on Onion Lake Road in Thunder Bay, Ont., has been equipped with a satellite dish since May.

Brian Edwards was driving to work along Onion Lake Road in Thunder Bay, Ont., one morning in May when he saw something that made him question if he'd had enough coffee before leaving the house.

"It's a beaver pond," he explained, "so kind of a swampy area, [a] beaver house, so mud, sticks — and a grey satellite dish sitting on top."

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After a moment's thought, Edwards decided it made perfect sense: The NHL was planning its comeback after a lengthy pause brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clearly this beaver was a hockey fan. It needed a solid sports TV package to see all the games, Edwards said.

"I'm just expecting to see that beaver adjusting the dish one morning to see if he can get better reception or something," he added, laughing.

The well-appointed beaver lodge that Edwards saw is on the outskirts of Thunder Bay, but the internet is awash in photos of similar installations in southern Saskatchewan, coastal Newfoundland, Montreal, Snow Lake, Man., Timmins, Bancroft and Kaladar, Ont., among other places.

In northwestern Ontario, satellite dishes have been spotted atop beaver lodges near Red Lake and Rainy River First Nation.

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The question is: how, and why?

"I could not locate this beaver lodge in our customer database — but sometimes satellite TV customers will move their service between their homes and vacation properties," a Bell Canada spokesperson told CBC in an email.

The beavers, the spokesperson added, might wish to contact the company about an upgrade, as their dish is more than 12 years old. Coincidentally, the company said said, it was around 12 years ago that the Bell beavers, Frank and Gordon, retired.

Beavers are technically capable of installing their own satellite dishes, said Glynnis Hood, a professor of environmental science at the University of Alberta who has been studying beavers for more than 20 years. They will build a lodge with just about anything, she said.

But while they have the construction skills, the animals are lacking in the technical department.

"I'm not sure if they could directionally install it in a way that they'd get a good shot of Downton Abbey," she said. "But otherwise, they could install it, but it would probably be covered in mud."

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It was met with universal acclaim and in August of the same year transferred to Broadway. Since then the show has exploded in popularity, winning As it turned out, no one had , and so Miranda began his project. A year later Miranda preformed a rough version of the opening number at the White House.

So what's really going on here?

It seems, Hood said, that in places like Thunder Bay, along the outskirts of the Canadian wilderness, placing items such as satellite dishes and Canadian flags on beaver lodges has become the quintessential prank for Canadian humans.

"I think that Canadians have this profound connection to beavers," she said.

"It's our national symbol. And beaver lodges are just such a great obvious structure on the landscape that installing satellite dishes on the top or Canada flags on the top just seems to go well with the Canadian identity."

CBC attempted to locate the alleged pranksters responsible for the Thunder Bay installation on social media.

For two days, people responded with little more than jokes.

"Dam! Those beavers have better TV than me," one said.

"I bet they're watching Leave it to Beaver," said another.

"They got their building materials at Beaver Lumber," yet another chimed in.

But then there was a breakthrough in the search.

Grant Carlson, a resident of Onion Lake Damn Road reported that, on May 25, he took a kayak and chest waders out into the pond and screwed the satellite dish onto the beaver lodge.

"I run a wedding centre, and you know, I was getting pretty depressed with all my weddings being cancelled," Carlson explained.

"I just thought that maybe I could help somebody else out, and we decided to help the beavers. You know self-isolation isn't so bad with Netflix."

Carlson said the beaver nodded his head at him as he finished up the job and turned to leave.

Edwards would like to thank Carlson and his fellow pranksters for their service, he said.

"It put a smile on my face. I think that's kind of what's missing in our world these days… I quite frankly think it's wonderful," he said.  "And I think we need more of that, especially with the global pandemic and everything that's going on right now."

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