Muskrat Love (and death)

My favourite walking buddy

Over to Whitemud Creek for a walk today. Heard rumours of a dead muskrat. It’s not my habit to seek out expired animals but as I have never seen a muskrat, I figured it was worth a trip. Muskrats look almost exactly like beavers but they are smaller, and instead of a paddle, they have a long rat-like tail. And infamous romantic practices. Took a guide (my niece) and my favourite doggie (Maggie) and off we went, but  no muskrat. Magpies? Coyotes? A female beaver, jealous of the muskrats’ slimmer tail?  Who knows…nature is quick and efficient in matters of disposal.

Show us your red wings!

However, all was not lost. The pond near the power-line was full of Red-winged Blackbirds flying in and out of the reeds. Their distinctive song was quite a lovely thing to hear. Don’t usually see these birds inside city limits, and never in such quantity. Usually it’s just one, on a fence-post. Also, a single goose paddling in the water, and several ducks. Ruddy ducks, I think, with blue beaks. It seems odd that the blue beak didn’t trump the reddish feathers when it came to naming the duck. But what do I know about duck nomenclature?

5:45 PM/8C

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