We’ve been stalking this guy since last fall through our living room window. I’ve been trying so hard to get a picture of him, but he’s pretty scared of people. I spent about 30 minutes standing out back by the pond with my camera yesterday. Suddenly I heard a squeaking and he appeared! I got a short video – it isn’t too exciting, but I wanted to share:
When we moved in 3 years ago, the previous owner told us that the pond in our back yard (a wetland area) used to have a muskrat who kept the cattails in check. He had disappeared a couple years earlier, and they were sad to see him go. Last fall, I saw something swimming in the pond. We’d see it from time to time – and this spring a huge nest had been built out of cattails. There are two of them now – presumably a male and female, and maybe this spring we’ll have muskrat babies.
I know muskrats have a bad reputation, but they are very beneficial to the wildlife. Their dens become hiding spaces and nests to many animals – including snakes and these Canada Geese:
The clearing in the cattails provides shelter for other animals ; we have a couple of ducks who live in our pond too. I don’t know why they disappeared before (there are a lot of large dogs who live on the pond, and we have foxes here too), but I hope they survive and are able to live here for a while. They are quite fun to watch.