Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Muskrat Family

From the archives:

A few years ago there was a muskrat boom at the Grand Kankakee Marsh. The living was easy for the little critters; full of cattails and aquatics to eat. There were lodges everywhere in the marsh.

One day, towards the end of winter, I came across this family taking part in the mid-day warmth of the sun. The smallest members of the family were heavily guarded up on top of the hut, while older members swam around, grabbed some weeds, and had a nibble.

At one point one of the babies on the hut got too comfortable sleeping and rolled off. What a commotion it caused as the older ones rushed to the rescue and got the baby back up to safety!

This year's lodge population is still low; nothing compared to the year the photo was taken. The boom apparently created a food shortage; the cattails still haven't recovered. Hopefully, when they do, there will be other opportunities to view these fun creatures.   

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