Monday, March 09, 2009

Muskrat Morning


Once again my Saturday morning was spent set up beside a small wetland. With the heavy cloud cover daylight was slow in coming. As I sat in darkness the occasional outburst of quacks and honks accompanied by the sounds of wings flapping assured me the wetland was well occupied by waterfowl.

As the first vestiges of light began to penetrate the gloom I could see v-wakes moving swiftly across the nearby water. Checking through my binoculars I could faintly make out a splash of white about where a ducks head should be. My first thought was of hooded mergansers and as the light strengthened I found my hunch was right. A lone male was chasing two other pairs of hoodies, apparently challenging the other males for their mates.

Soon the wetlands began erupting with the sounds of the flapping of wings and wave after wave of ducks and geese exited in a northerly direction.

By the time adequate photography light arrived the flocks that had rested here during the night were gone, moving along on their ancient migratory paths.

Soon I noticed a wake moving across the water's surface and a moment later a small brown head appeared above the water. The muskrat passing my hidden location provided one of the few images of the morning. Although the morning was lackluster for waterfowl photography the outdoor memories were well worth the effort, the muskrat image was a bonus.

15 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

As I read your post I couldn't help but think that memories are with you wherever you go,unlike pictures.
Blessings,Ruth

Meggie said...

I'm not sure I've ever seen a muscrat in the wild, Salty. Would you say they are smaller than a beaver, but larger than a rat? (We grow our rats rather large here in western PA.)

Natural Moments said...

Muskrats are a bonus indeed. They glide so gracefully minding their harvests and routes through hidden channels.

ramblingwoods.com said...

Thanks for saying something nice about the muskrat..I enjoy watching them here..but our neighbor traps and drowns them as they don't fit his idea of what kind of animals should live on the pond. Hey..his words, not mine...but it's legal...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

A great bonus too Coy. I think this is one of the things which have made me into the loner I am: I enjoy sitting early morning or late evening on my own in a place like this with no one to disturb my thoughts, peace and tranquility. Perhaps I am just too selfish to share. :)

Montanagirl said...

See, your patience was rewarded! Good shot.

photowannabe said...

Wonderful morning image. There is something so magical about seeing wildlife in their own habitat.

Shellmo said...

Sounds like a great day to me Salty! Great photo of the muskrat - it must've been enjoyable just to watch him swim.

Louise said...

Something cute and furry is always a bonus!

juanKa said...

Very interesting.

Bradley Myers said...

Congratulations Coy, it looks like you caught up with some of those muskrats. Well done.

Bird Girl said...

I can almost picture your lovely morning waiting at the wetland...and yes - the muskrat was a wonderful bonus! Great image!

Leedra said...

The Muskrat was definitely a bonus.

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fishing guy said...

Salty: Very nice capture; a few nice days get things moving.

The Whispering Poppies said...

A muskrat! How sweet! NOW I know what those little critters are, thanks to you! I saw one once in a swampy marsh area near a local fish-n-chips shop... I was stumped because I had no idea what it was, and I knew a beaver would be out of place! lol Great shot!!!