where’s the muskrat?

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the semi-small purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you up to date on the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such up-to-date posts as “The Hair Cut”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.16022501Obviously, the guy I live with had a biscuit on his head. He claims I never stand still enough for my picture, otherwise.

I wondered when I was going to get the biscuit….16022502Finally, I had to go into Full Velociraptor Mode. 16022503I got the biscuit. Whew, huh.

So anyway, I was going to post yesterday, but I was much too tired after a good day at Day Care. I really like Day Care. That’s why I go. 16022507I admit I’m pretty awesome. And you know what? Yesterday, a year ago, was my first day here. I’ve been here for a whole year, and now one day. I guess it’s been okay.

It snowed again the other day, and the guy I live with was all put out, because now we have crocuses, and some of them got a little soggy. The cages are to protect them against bunnies. Bunnies eat the crocus flowers, and the leaves. And the guy I live with gets hopping mad. (Get it? Hopping mad.)16022504

16022505And cyclamen, though this one isn’t quite open, as you can see.

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum

At least I’ve been able to go on full-length walks in the last week or so. I can walk all the way down the creek path, turn around, and then go back.

In one place, in the creek, there’s always muddy water, like some creature was swimming away from us as we got closer, and one time the guy I live with said he saw ripples in the water. He said it’s probably a muskrat, but I haven’t seen it yet.

Every time I go on my walk, now, I hope to be able to see the muskrat, and maybe I will. Or maybe the guy I live with will bring the camera and take a picture of the part of the creek that used to have a muskrat, but doesn’t any more because it swam away. I’d really like to see it, though.

That’s pretty much it, for today. It’s a bit too chilly to be doing any gardening, according to the guy I live with, who of course has to have everything just so.

I’ll leave you with that thought.16022508




Until next time, then.

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16 Responses to where’s the muskrat?

  1. Oh, what a winning, handsome dog! And pretty well-behaved, to judge from the reports from Day Care. Awesome and excellent all around. Although I’m pretty certain I’d stand well back when you are in velociraptor mode, impressive as that is. For not being worked in because of cold temps, really, the garden looks splendid. Perhaps it’s the light. And the golden crocus and cyclamen, plus a beautiful border collie running full tilt in celebratory excitement. So glad you came to stay, Mani. (Do ask the guy you live with how placid in nature the muskrats are in that canal.)

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I agree it was a good idea to stay here, even though I don’t get to do absolutely everything that I want to. Most things, though. And it’s not really cold here, since it’s above freezing, but the guy I live with says that Hemingway with a Trowel prefers warmer weather. The muskrats are pretty harmless. Big, however.

  2. Hi Guys,

    Love the post. It contains all the very bestest things: sun-burnished crocus – are they korolkowii? Yes? Janis’ striped tiger?; demure queen of winter, Cyclamen coum; a very happy, lithely streak of doggy delight.

    And hints of the old America, muskrats! Such fun to have secretive and discrete animals living alongside you. Oh, the frisson of pleasure, at JUST the expectation of catching a glimpse.

    We have the same with platypus. That glimpse into a wild world we rarely get to see these days.

    Thats probably why TGYLW grows provenanced plants. But oh the canary in the cage thing is bothersome. I look at my few flowering frits and think. What am I doing? But I’ve always been a collectore. What’s that about?

    Mani, congrats on your year-long sabbatical. Looks like you’re there for the long run unless TGYLW goes visit the Mani.

    Cheers from Marcus Down Under

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; yes, those are Crocus korolkowii. I was going to say, but didn’t. The cages look stupid but the guy I live with is really sick of all the nibbling. The rabbits come in the back yard when I’m at Day Care, of course. Not sure where, but they do come in, sometimes. The crocuses are Lemon Tiger, Brown something, Spring Cocktail, you know, all the ones you can get. I had to remove the labels when I was a puppy because they weren’t very attractive. There was also Crocus michelsonii and abantensis and a chrysanthus he said was called Milea, but they didn’t get their pictures posted. It is nice to grow bulbs and imagine yourself on a slope in a place you’ll never go. He did get a book on the Mani Peninsula from one of the visitors who came here a couple of weeks ago, in trade for not being velocirapted, of course. And muskrats, that’s right, reminders of when, well the guy I live with wouldn’t tell me about that…..

  3. vivianswift says:

    Happy First Year! And it has indeed been a happy year for all your readers, dear Mani. We’re so glad you came, you saw, and you conquered.

    I hate to be persnickety but . . . while catching sight of a swimming muskrat would be cute and all, crossing paths with a platypus — a PLATYPUS — would be mind blowing, much in the manner of laying eyes on Wollemi pine in situ, a rare face-to-face one-on-one encounter with the Jurassic. *Australians* I just love the cheerful way they take their stupendously incomparable country in stride. I mean…koala bears, kangaroos, wallabies, and PLATYPUSES. (OK, we have raccoons, which are pretty adorable, and muskrats, about which songs are written.)

    However, if I were ever on a collision course with any species of Jurassic fauna, there is no one I would rather have at my side than the Mani Velociraptor.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; that makes me feel pretty good. The guy I live with says that platypi have a stinging barb thingy on on of their feet, and so muskrats would be much better. I saw ducks today on my walk and they scared both of us. Like we were just walking, and then all of sudden there was this loud flapping of wings and stuff. Very startling. This has happened before but it’s always scary. So, kind of like a platypus.

    • Hi VivianSwift,

      I live in Tasmania on the southern edge of the city of Hobart. While it’s not common, we do see platypus in the creek that runs along the bottom edge of our property. This time last year I saw an Eastern Quoll. Europeans have been here for a little over 200 years and this state has a small population and large areas of intact habitat so things haven’t got too messed up … yet. Having said that we have lost the thylacine and the Tasmania Devil is on the brink. Tasmania does have a powerful Green lobby and lots of activists and significant battles have been won in the forests and against mining and inappropriate development but the sharks are always circling and the government isn’t sympathetic.
      So maybe our little platypus will be reduced to “Wollemi Pine status” but not just yet. It’s main problem is the bulk of the population are hypnotized by sport and buying stuff.

  4. janet b. says:

    LOVE those “action” shots, mani!!

  5. Barb K says:

    You look very rangy and athletic in those pictures. Almost as good as a video, but only almost. I was curious about muskrats and I found out why they have “rat” in their name, but not “musk”. Do you know why? Do they smell musky, or just swampy? I took the advice of TGYLW and ordered cyclamen from Edelweiss. One was a Coum with a Christmas tree mark on the leaves and it is blooming with a very beautiful dark magenta color. So thanks for the suggestion!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I am both rangy and super-athletic. The guy I live with will attest to the fact that I can jump backwards, and sideways, onto the couch, when I play the excellent game “try to get it on me”, when I get the harness put on, before my walk. It’s a fun game, though the guy I live with sometimes thinks it’s not so fun. The Wikipedia article on muskrats is inconclusive, I guess. I’ve seen one before. It wasn’t swimming in the creek, and I think that’s all I should say about it. We didn’t see it again today. I have the idea that there will be days and days when we don’t see it. I guess there are a lot of things that I don’t see every single day. The guy I live with says that cyclamen are super excellent. There are a lot of them here. You can get them from Edelweiss, or Hansen Nursery, among other places, and you can also grow them from seed. And then eventually the ants will do that for you.

  6. bittster says:

    Nice to have the snow on the retreat again and see a few crocus emerge. Also nice to see the athletic shots at the end there. Very dynamic!

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