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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Furry Swimmer- Part 2

Tonight, I gave a program at the West Michigan Izaak Walton League annual dinner. They have a little pond on their property, and I took a short walk beside it, thinking I might see a bird, or some flower of interest.

muskrat pond

Instead, look what I found! And the silly thing is so used to people that I got some really good pictures. This is the muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus. If you want, you can compare it with the otter.

muskrat swimming

It dove down to the bottom of the pond and came up with some salad to enjoy. Plain. No dressing (except maybe a little mud).

muskrat swimming

It sat there and watched me and ate, while I watched it. A mutually satisfactory arrangement.

I'll be bringing you the rest of the stories over the next week or so, one at a time. When interesting things happen outside those will have priority. That way, hopefully, you won't get tired of reading stories!


Julia said...

Hi Joan,

That muskrat is really cute. :)
I like that salad too. Sounds kind of tame which makes for great wildlife watching.

Bye for now.

rainfield61 said...

It has mud as the dressing.


miadventure said...

My brother and I saw a bunch of these on the Big Manistee. Cute little guys

Betchai said...

oh oh so cute, so huggable. wish to see them someday in the wild too.

vanilla said...

Nostalgia. Muskrats beneath corner of seawall when we had lake place. Fun to watch!

spinninglovelydays said...

I can see what you mean about the difference between that and the otter. The otter's fur looked sleeker, but this muskrat is so cute! Kind of like a huge wet hamster, lol

Ann said...

that's some salad bar that muskrat has :) Nice of him to be so accommodating. He's a handsome little guy

Lin said...

Oh, what a great find! I would have confused it for a beaver at first, I think.


Oh how cute! I love it!

Kloggers/Polly said...

What a sweet little creature - you are so lucky to be able to get so close. They so say that when such creatures are about the water sources in the area are in good condition, which is always good to know.
Looking forward to your next lot of pictures!

Sharkbytes said...

Julia- nice to see you! I was actually surprised that it was so trusting. There are kids fishing days at this pond a lot, and you would think a furry thing would be wary of all those running kids.

rainfield- yeah, I personally don't like the grittiness, but each to his own!

John- I'm glad to hear that they are starting to come out for the spring.

betchai- aren't there muskrats in CA? I thought they were pretty ubiquitous.

vanilla- they are so adaptable, they are found many places, but people don't see them.

Ivy- that's one of the reasons I decided the other one was an otter- the fur is much better.

Ann- He knew right where to find it- no green stuff breaking the surface yet.

Lin- naw... beavers are a lot larger.

Hi wannabee- Thanks for stopping by- they can be cute, for sure.

Polly- well, they probably prefer diversity, but they are one of the few animals that can live happily in a cattail monoculture.

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