We’ve gone through the better part of a year without a muskrat in the pond – I think old age and decrepitude took our old muskrat population out, and for a year we haven’t had any swimming around. Now, we have a muskrat back in the pond, and I hope the population will grow again.
I’m pretty sure that the occasional juvenile muskrat goes for a walkabout as it gets close to adulthood. Here, it’s nice to have one back in the pond, that we can watch swimming. The next generation should be calmer in the presence of people, and something we can watch a bit closer.
Montanaoutdoor.com provides some information and photos – I particularly like the photo of the infant muskrat:
The turkeys are showing up in the mornings to harvest the remaining grasshoppers. They’re nature’s way of converting insect protein into real food. I need to remember to order a bit of disease for the hoppers this coming Spring.
The twin fawns spots have filled in with their winter coats, and we still have two does and three fawns living close to the house. I wonder if the greatest threat to a deer’s survival isn’t traffic. Meanwhile, the occasional bear wanders through – and I think of Willy Nelson singing “the wide open spaces are closing in quickly.” It must be a real challenge for bears to find areas where they don’t wind up in conflict with residences.
The resident coots have all flown south – but such a successful year – 7 hatchlings survived the summer to fly south. A lone goose circles the pond, calling out, then begins the migration south, alone. It has been a great summer.