The Elemental Muskrat – Reshaping the Banks of Their Watery World

Alberta water

One evening I watched some Muskrats ‘working like beavers’ at a friends farm. The muskrat is a largish rodent that looks like a stocky rat. It seems harmless enough, but has the ability to reshape the banks of any body of water it decides to call home. In this photo, you can see a cut in the bank where one of its underground dens has perhaps collapsed. If they dug bank burrows under the windmill on the other side of the dugout, it might eventually cause a big problem!

Alberta Water
Muskrats primarily eat a wide variety of plants. This pair were transporting sweet clover – doesn’t it almost looked like a bridal bouquet!?

I really was disappointed when I downloaded my muskrat photos and looked at them on my computer. The early evening light wasn’t optimal for capturing detail with a zoom lens. I fancied the photos up with a few filters, but all in all, I’d say they are good examples of what ELJAYGEE calls  Second Best Shots

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Elemental.

Post 582

17 comments

    • Do you have beavers too? Now that would change the water course in a big way!
      We had muskrats in the prairie pothole behind our place the few years we had water for an entire summer. I didn’t realize how much they altered the edge until this year (it’s dry) when I stepped into one of the ‘holes’ that was hidden in the long grass!

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      • Yes we do have beavers! The farmers don’t like them much as they tunnel large holes into the river bank and sometimes a combine wheel breaks through…..costly fix! My husband and I do enjoy watching them though. Quite a few years ago they had a large dam across the river a mile downstream from us.

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    • I’ve noticed on your blog that you see muskrats too! Yours seem more timid than the ones I watched. I think ‘my’ muskrats had become comfortable with the presence of humans because the dugout they live in is fairly small, and not very far from the house.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I know that sense of disappointment too well- look good in camera until seen on bigger screen. sometimes I turn my second bests into photoart – your muskrats make good watercolor edits! nothing wasted and nothing lost!

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