muskrat rambles

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you some wildlife-related news. You may remember me from such wildlife-related posts as “The Green Horrors”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I was waiting to go on my evening walk, and wondering why I had to have my picture taken instead. It snowed the night before last but by yesterday morning the snow had all melted. Otherwise, hardly anything has happened here.

We did see a whole bunch of what the guy I live with thought were flycatchers in the bushes by the canal. He doesn’t know much about birds, though, and the camera battery died after the took this picture. They were very tiny birds.And there was the hawk. That was a few days ago. I got really excited because there was something large and scary next door, and I barked so much, in the way I do when there are scary things around, that the guy I live with had to look over the fence in the corner of the yard, where the fence is just chain-link, and there was this huge hawk.This picture was posted on Facebook but I thought I would share it here, too. The guy I live with went to get the “big camera” but the hawk jumped down on the ground because it was eating something. We found the remains of what it was eating when we went on my evening walk, later; it must have dropped it as it flew away, or it was finished.

Talking about wildlife, the guy I live with and his friend went to the museum while I was at Day Care. He said it was probably just as well that the museum didn’t allow purebred border collies to wander around the exhibits because there was an exhibit of really big dinosaurs there. I might have liked to study velociraptors a bit more, but I heard about the Suchomimus and Gigantosaurus and decided it was best that I didn’t get to go.

Today we did some gardening, mostly cutting back things that needed cutting back, and sticking some potted plants into the ground (what they call “plunging”) so that they’ll be more insulated over the winter. That is, instead of planting them.

We saw the hawk again on my morning walk, but it was too far away to get a good picture. We also looked for the muskrat but the canal was empty, as far as we could tell.

On my evening walk, things were different. There were ducks. There are always ducks here, though. This time there were more, because there are usually only two. We moved pretty close to the bank on the south side of the canal, and the guy I live with started saying things. The muskrat was there, and he didn’t have his camera ready.

He got the camera out and took pictures just as the muskrat went under water. If you look really closely you can see the muskrat’s tail still sticking up out of the water, about where that one piece of dead grass crosses the canal and goes over the bunch of dead grass floating in the water. 

So we waited.Then we could see the muskrat’s head. See it, there?And then, finally, the muskrat.

The guy I live with said “Ha”, and then we went back to the important business, my evening walk.

It turned out that there were seven ducks in the canal. That might be a record. Seven ducks; definitely a record. I lead a pretty interesting, bucolic sort of life, as you can tell. We don’t really live in the country, but almost.

These days my evening walk takes place when the sun is setting. It starts to get chilly, but I don’t mind.

The guy I live with said that was a contrail from a jet, flying to Los Angeles, maybe.Sunset over our house.That’s all for today. It’s supposed to warm up a bit and so maybe we can do some more gardening tomorrow.

Until next time, then.





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missing the muskrat

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you up to date on, well, not much of anything at all. You may remember me from such not-much-of-anything-type posts as “Nothing Again Nothing”, among at least a few others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.Pretty cool how the setting sun lights up the arbor, isn’t it?Not much has been happening here, lately. There are some crocuses in flower (though they close when the sun goes down).I was out in the “way back”, too. The guy I live with has been taking most of the pictures as the sun is going down, because we’ve been having some excellent sunsets, like the one a couple of evenings ago.But speaking of crocuses, this one, Crocus tournefortii, does not close at night. This was taken during the day, of course. The guy I live with posted a picture of it on Facebook, four stacked images, and he only realized the images were out of alignment (because he moved the camera for one picture) after he posted it, so here is one of the originals.

The crocuses and other bulbs get their pictures taken with the DSLR and are processed in Lightroom (mostly just cropping and fiddling around with the exposure); most of the blog pictures are taken with the point-and-shoot and not processed at all.This is the misaligned one, if you cared about such things. You can see how there’s a kind of “ghost image” at the edge of the petals. Obviously the original was better.

Here is Crocus hadriaticus ‘Purple Heart’. The snow we had a while back helped get these going.Anyway, you may be wondering about the title of today’s post.

There is a muskrat in the canal. The guy I live with wanted to get its picture, but only saw it swimming underwater, or the ripples it made as it hid from us as we walked by. I wasn’t paying any attention at all.

A couple of days ago the guy I live with saw the muskrat happily paddling in the canal, but didn’t have his camera.

We spent some time looking for it.

I looked over here, some. The guy I live with said that the muskrat lived in the water. I still felt like looking up here. It was really driving the guy I live with crazy. We’d be walking along, and there would be the muskrat and then it would disappear.

On our way back home this evening we stopped and looked back where we came from, and there was the muskrat. See it there? Just its head. It was swimming from left to right across the canal. So at least now we have proof that there’s a muskrat living in the canal. If there’s more talk about a muskrat, this is what we’ll mean, rather than some imaginary muskrat.

Other than that, there’s not much else to say.

Until next time, then.



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