I headed off as every morning when I go
on a walk here in our town. Checking my camera bag and choosing which
lens to bring with me, knowing it will never be the right lens ha!
Choosing whether to carry the heavy water canteen,or just fill up a
bottle I have around here. Filled up a bottle with water that fits
nicely into my bag is what I chose to do this morning.
As times before a coyote disturbed the
peace at the ponds. Hearing all the racket I new something was going
down, however I just kept my slow pace hoping by the time I got there
things would be calmed down?
If the Magpies would quit telling
everyone I was there things would have went a little better? The ducks
were on high alert due to the coyote no doubt?? All of them flew making
loud distress calls as they went! Some in pairs going this way and that
way! I did notice the farmers were busy doing their thing, which the
wildlife get used to here in my part of the High Desert of Oregon.
Jefferson County Oregon is a agricultural place after all!
As I looked over the first pond I seen
nothing in the pond itself but for some small birds who looked like
Robins taking baths. I was keeping a lookout for the Coyote of course,
though Coyotes really do not want anything to do with people! I made my
way through the brush to the second pond.
I did see something dive under the
water. Whatever it was made a ripple in the water. We do have some
pretty large fish here, but not in a pond of this size I thought? Shoot
someone would have to put the fish here! Fish just cant walk to ponds!
Hence why the state of Oregon is dropping fish from helicopters in the
more remote lakes for those who hike to the lakes and want to fish.
Really these seam to be holding ponds
that are not really used anymore for the farmer who owns the land. Pipes
coming from the ponds themselves as well as what appears to be a
machine which I really do not pay any mind to for to have permission to
be on the land I have to follow some basic rules. Common sense tells me
not to mess around with such things as machinery! The owner did not have
to tell me this. However, I do find the pipes nice sitting spots. They
are really long pipes that are basically on the ground.
I made myself comfy, and waited. Whatever
it was will come up again. Sometime! Sure enough up pops a head with
vegetation in it's paws.
The Blackbirds in the tree nearest me
were quiet for a second then off the male started doing his display
calling to whatever female might happen to be around. The male Red
Winged Blackbird did keep me company, along with the female who answered
I watched the Muskrat eat her breakfast
taking of course a lot of photographs! No I did not put all the
photographs on here, just a couple.
The Muskrat after a time quit diving and
bring up more vegetation to eat to what it looked like to me, she was
checking on something?? Where she is there, that is the end of this
pond, see the cattails and such?? This is a ok sized pond, I just call
it the small pond.
In the next shot here, you can see she is
contemplating something! Her behavior made me even wonder what she is
thinking so hard about? I am only calling her a she, I do not know if
this is a male or female? Perhaps the males venture out more then the
The morning was still pretty chilly at
this time, I still had my sweater on. Though gosh the bugs!! I did have
to check if I had ticks on me, though it is a little early for ticks I
thought...... No tick thank goodness! I am a tick magnet, that is just
the way it is! Guy (my other half), claims if there is a tick within a
mile I will not only find it but I will bring it home with me ha! This
is what happens when you hang out near the water!
Many places the visitors come to, these
places do not have bugs to bother these folks as much for these places
are sprayed with chemicals. This way folks can have a good time in our
part of the world. You go off the beat and path, well.... you will get
eaten up just like everything else by the bugs. However, these places
off the beat and path are where I feel the best outdoor experiences come
from! The trick is to learn where these kinds of places are.....
Now this next photograph is what made me know without a doubt this is no beaver!
Beavers do not have such a tail, hence
Muskrat. Rat..... It is not like you can walk right up to a wildlife
species and ask it what exactly do we humans call you?? I think most of
my time photographing what I do when I get home is research!! I would of
liked this to be a Beaver, why? Well, we do not see Beaver like we used
to here! This really is not a place a beaver would be more then likely
anyways, due to it not being connected to a river inlet etc.. Well, from
what I know of Beaver without looking them up and reading.
I did kind of feel my observation of
this Muskrat was over. Thinking just wait.... I am in no hurry, and I
refuse to wear a watch or any kind of time piece. Though I did happen to
notice the farmers , there was several people out on farm machinery on
that piece of land over in that direction. That just happens to be where
one can see as plain as day The Three Sisters mountains. What a
horrible place to work right?? Where you have beautiful scenery of The
Three Sisters mountain, with Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Hood right there in
your face ha!
The farmers drove the farm machinery and
parked all in a row. Common farmers like things neat and tidy! I
assumed it was around lunch time?? Our town does not have a noon time
bell like other towns I have been in. This is how I kind of new it was
around noonish, or when it was going to start getting hot so 10ish?? WOW
it did get hot later on btw!
I was contemplating getting up and leaving, but thought I would just sit tight....
By this time a Robin come over where the
Red Winged Blackbirds were to check out the situation! Robin birds are
pretty much bullies !! They rather feel that everything is their
business! Of course they back off when bigger birds then them are around
however the blackbirds are not bigger then they are.
As our Muskrat was in the cattails I
started watching the birds more. Jumping down getting drinks and heading
back up to their perching spot. The male Red Wing showing off all his
color as he screams for attention. The Robin bird trying to scare him
out of his spot..... dint happen by the way! I also at this time heard
hawks, well Harriers perhaps. This is where I typically see them and
they make drive by's. Though I have seen my share of eagles out here.
Though this was a hawk. Fact was, it was a Red Tailed Hawk soaring way
up high. Circling, riding the wave until I could not see it or hear it
Keeping a eye on where the Muskrat
is.... something is at that spot, for the Muskrat did not move from
there! All I could see is it's butt, or um rear end for our younger
readers! AND I waited.....
I wait a lot by the way!! Thinking most
of my life is waiting! Of course I just can not get my lens in there to
see what the Muskrat is doing, thus I think it is waiting when actually
it is just a time laps for I have no clue of what is going on and I want
to know, so I wait! Why I also do not wear any type of watch, or carry a
time piece.... That is a stress I just dont need in my life. Since my
sibling took my Cinderella watch did I think time should hold so much
control over us. Or was it a Snow White, I think it was Snow White come
to think of it.... I was always one to think about why folks do what
they do. Hey, I wonder how much that watch would go for these days?
MMMM, might just be neat to see one of those now a days. Ok back to the
The wait was finally over!! Went by
pretty quickly. I had things to think about and other creatures to watch
while I waited, and waited.
WHAM with delight and rather a proud look on the Muskrats disposition, I found out what on earth the Muskrat was doing!!The Muskrat was cutting this down! Well chewing it down! Thank goodness we have a thumb right?
Looks like a pretty good piece of
something to eat there doesn't it? If that is you are a Muskrat! Some
nice bark, perhaps a bug or more within the bark! Yum Yum ha!
Now to get the piece of wood to go where
the Muskrat wants it to go! Some folks say critters are not real
smart..... I dont know about that!? We have watched this Muskrat use up a
lot of energy to get this piece of wood into the water, so that piece
of wood must be pretty darn important!
Off "she", goes with the piece of wood
to her desired destination. This Muskrat disappeared where I could no
longer observe what the Muskrat was doing.
I did make my way over to that spot, and
seen it was built up of many pieces of wood! Though I dont know for
sure, however I am wondering if this Muskrat had young and was taking
this piece of wood to the young to chew on?? Or for this Muskrat to chew
on later?? Or just to repair the nest as Beavers do??
Thank you for coming by and spending time with me and the Muskrat!