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.