Sunday, February 24, 2008

Muskrat Push-ups

Photo found at www.wpclipart.com[Photo from www.wpclipart.com] (In my opinion, muskrats are not a very beautiful critter.)

Today we went to church and afterwards had breakfast as usual then came back home. In a few hours we went down to the lake and Doug took me out to see the muskrat push-ups that we could see from the house while Klint, Calli, and Kris built a fire to enjoy.

I've never seen the muskrats do push-ups in the middle of the lake! That is different. They take mud and grass from the bottom of the lake and push it up through a hole in the ice and keep doing that to keep the hole from freezing up. Then they can come up through the ice and... do whatever it is that muskrats do! I guess they could be coming up to peek at us - to see whatever it is that we might be doing.

In the past Doug would set traps for muskrats on the Hay Flats. He skinned and tanned them and then we used them in skin-sewing projects. Today he said, "If I knew somebody that could skin-sew I would trap them." I said, "You just leave those little guys alone!"

These little critters are busy all year. They don't appear to hibernate at all. They eat fresh water clams here at the lake. They litter up the banks of the lake with the shells, lots of shells. I am always surprised by how much fresh-water clams this lake produces. The muskrat can be seen diving down and then coming back up with these clams as they swim back to shore to eat them.

I am positive that I saw the eagles carrying off two large muskrats last summer. I saw an eagle come flying over the treetops - just barely making it and then flying across the lake with a perfectly limp and unmoving muskrat in his talons. The second time I saw one come up over the trees and fly down our driveway straight towards the house and barely cleared it before flying across the lake to their nest.

That is one of the aches of nature - dying to live.

12 comments:

Sharon said...

Oh, they are so cute! It is hard to believe that they can be bothersome, but I know they can. You are so blessed to live in such pretty country!

Hugs, Sharon

Constance said...

"Muskrat Susie & Mustkatrat Sam..."
Uh sorry, I had a high school flashback to the Captain and Tenille! Ha Ha!

While I haven't seen an eagle cary off a muskrat, I did see an owl pounce on a rabbit 2 summers ago! That was pretty cool to see something so rural here in the Metroplex where there are literally millions of people!
Connie

Tammy said...

Thank you for stopping by my show and tell...it's nice to "meet" you!
Cute little muskrats...that same song by the Captain and Tenille the other replier was going through my mind the whole time I was reading your post, too! I'm a child of the 70's, can you tell?
I've never been to Alaska but I would love to someday! I know from everything I've seen on it that it is SO beautiful!

(And love the precious cradle in your show and tell below, too!)

Hope you stop by again soon!
Blessings,
~Tammy

Faith said...

What a real blessing to live in such a beautiful area. Our dream is to live on one of the Adirondack lakes....just a dream but still....Would love to get up to Alaska and visit...maybe once the girls are "grown-up" and have left the nest!

Marie VW said...

They look a lot like beavers. Something about them just look friendly. Looks like he's thinking to himself..."Now where did that hole go?".

MammyT said...

What a nice post. I've seen the eagles carry some pretty big prey. They were known for carrying off dogs in Homer. Most people with smaller breeds put fishing net over their dog runs.
Nancy

Connie Marie said...

I remember a lady telling a story of her little dog going out to potty near Susitna River. An eagle swooped down and grabbed her dog and began to try to fly off. The dog was heavy enough to keep the eagle low so she grabbed her broom and ran after it and hit it. The eagle was not going to let go easily but finally dropped it. The little dog ran under the car. She said that after that, the little dog would never do it's business out in the open, always under the cars. lol

Jettie said...

OOHH they are like the beavers here!! I kinda think they are cute...but not Rats they aren't cute!!!!!!!!!!!
Poor dog!! We rarely see Eagles they are something!!

e-Mom said...

Well I learned a lot about muskrats today! Thanks... they seem like pretty neat little critters. Hugs.

mrsjojo said...

Interesting information on muskrats. I never knew much about them other than trapping them. I remember the guys at Victory used to trap them.
By the way, GREAT JOB on the New Life page!!!!!!!!

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Such a good post. I wish I could have seen it but it was almost as good seeing it through your eyes. I wish that I had the nerve to visit Alaska. It is such a beautiful place. My Grand daughter in law that is from there loves it. So I guess I will have to be content to see it through the eyes of my very dear friend. connie from Texas

TJ said...

I think anything small and furry is cute. Even my brother's naked rate, who is not furry, but still cute.

Eagles keep the population of white ducks down to almost nothing in our nearby ponds, but we've found them to be fairly lazy. They'd rather look for a dead one, or wait for one of the huge carp to come floatingup.