Ratty dines out

I just learned the answer to the burning question.  How do muskrats eat in winter?  It is the question that is keeping you up nights, I know.  While I was at the Liberty Loop of the Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge today, I saw a muskrat trot across the snow and burrow into a footprint.   Very smart I thought, since there is a hard crusty layer of ice on top of the snow.  I walked over to peer at the dark lump and all I saw was scuffed up grass and a tail.  Being vegetarian, he had burrowed into the snow to get at the grass underneath.

muskrat-in-a-hole

Then, with his tummy full, he was off. “Home Again, Home Again, Riggity Jig.”  He reminded me of Ratty from Wind in the Willows.

muskrat-walking

His little snow covered den looks cozy doesn’t it.

muskrat-den

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6 Comments

Filed under Local schmocal

6 responses to “Ratty dines out

  1. The muskrat near where I live just feeds on the grasses along the ditches when the weather gets bad. So it is never far from water. But what an amazing photo capture, especially in the second photograph! Awesome.

  2. Lovely shots, Beverly. We sometimes see them swimming in the canals here. Beautiful animals, but they are bounty hunted here (in the Netherlands) because they damage the dikes.

  3. internationaltheory

    Great post… agreed, amazing photograph.

  4. I adore the photo of his (her?) little feet scurrying across the ice crust. Something in me wants to protect it, this little innocent thing under the snow.

  5. Oh, I remember Ratty from Wind in the Willows. Yes, he/she does look like him the way this one is scurrying across the snow to get back to its home.

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