After looking for 4 weeks, I finally found the muskrat’s dwelling. Made of reeds, as I’d suspected – due to the massive reed damage in the very back of the pond. The muskrat’s been destroying so much vegetation, that I could just see its hut. Some pics of the pond and the reed hut.
One water lily remains. It’s the one closest to the dock, and the canoe moored to that dock. A canoe which was only recently put back into the water, and allowed to swing about on it’s mooring – out over the closest water lilies.
I think that canoe had been acting as a sort of scare crow for the water lilies – cause when I beached the canoe a few weeks ago – the water lily destruction began in earnest.
Hopefully, we’ll have removed all muskrats by next spring. It is my plan. Nothing less is acceptable.
Miles, our big (and old) lab, loves a good rogering. And while I’m giving Miles a good going over, Kitty loves to work on the other end. (She’s such a tail biter.) And both of us working on the old boy just puts him over the top – he just loves it. And it will always be that way …
Too much new damage this morning, to the water lily patch, for it to have been done by turtles. Has to be a muskrat. And at the rate it is going, I fear the lily patch will be completely destroyed in a couple more weeks.
So, off I go, this morning, to our local Tractor Supply Co, or Lowes, to purchase a muskrat trap. Neat. Never done that before. (Or maybe my son will loan me one of his – if he still has any)
From up on our deck, using binoculars, I sighted a Northern Water Snake on the far side of the pond, laying on the plant mats. About 4′ long. Thick. Gleaming. Perhaps it was admiring some nearby frogs?
Got my camera gear, about to start down the hill – and it was gone.
No deer tracks yet – so its not a deer. Their sharp hooves always give them away.
A raccoon perhaps? Never seen one in the 4 years we’ve been here though. Doesn’t disprove anything.
Maybe a Muskrat, as Ken suggested. We had one this spring. Kicked up a lot of mud. And the net says they love water lilies and cattails. We have both — but it’s the lilies getting worked over this week.
But … here’s a pic of a likely suspect, taken this morning …
Click on the pic, to blow it up – and get a closer look.
Things we have for sure, that might eat, or are known to eat, water lily fruits… a ground hog or two, turtles (see above pic), smaller ground animals.
Maybe someday I’ll put some of my FPV camera gear down there, on a bright moonlit night – and stay up all night long – peering into the monitor – until I can ID the varmint. Or not!