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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22 Responses to missing the muskrat

  1. mjkeane says:

    Hi Mani,
    Yup. Muskrats can be clever at hiding. I think they are shy creatures and prefer to live without notice. When I was a child, we had lots of them in the swamp near our house. I loved seeing them, especially in the Spring when we’d spot them swimming below the melting ice.
    The crocuses and sunsets at your home are lovely. I might plant some crocuses like you have next year (assuming I can find a nursery source) and hope that mice and chipmunks don’t find and eat them as snacks!

    • paridevita says:

      It was kind of surprising to see the muskrat in the canal, because the water will stop flowing pretty soon, but I guess it has a cozy home in the bank of the canal. The guy I live with says you can find quite a few autumn-flowering crocuses at Brent and Becky’s. Most are sold out now; it’s best to plant them in September. Though if you ordered some now they might still come up this year (which is what you want to happen). They’ll have long growing shoots.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    You know that nocturnal flowers attract moths, right? Be careful and keep the doors and windows closed at night.

  3. lifecameos says:

    I think that muskrat is having you both on.

  4. Lee Recca says:

    Nice lighting effects!

  5. Definitely, your garden has entered its deep autumn phase, Mani, brrr. Your post put me to the test. First, looking for a muskrat head (maybe?), which reminds me of the time I stood around a pond in Australia with a group trying to spot a platypus. Platy showed himself several times, just playing with us. I believe only an obsessed photographer can see the ghost image. I strained, and saw nada. I did see that gorgeous light glowing from the arbor, and the beautiful sunset, and the litter of blue crocus. I will point out that in one frame of Mani-by-the-stream it looks a bit like you sport a fine set of antlers when, really, a spur of dried grass drapes itself just so. Still, you look the spirit of autumn.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks, it is a bit chilly, and might freeze at night some time this week. The guy I live with says he’d rather have a rainy, snowdrop-filled autumn, but that we don’t, and so whatever. The muskrat is that thing that looks like a rock right where the canal bends. You can see the ripples from it swimming. If you enlarge the second Crocus tournefortii picture you can see how horrible it looks, and he didn’t even see that until he posted it. Photoshop will stack images and align them so that it gives greater depth to the picture but in this case the images weren’t aligned to begin with, and Photoshop couldn’t fix that. Like if you took twenty pictures of something from the same position, but for two you moved slightly, and then tried to make those all one picture.

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