Last Saturday, I spoke at a symposium and showed many portraits of local creatures. I noted that the muskrat, the smallest of our three semi-aquatic mammals, is often unjustly maligned. It is not actually a rat, but an aquatic vole, and substantially a vegetarian that feeds on aquatic weed.
I did a bit of digging to see if I could discover why this little creature gets demonized. Apart from the misconception that it is a rat, it seems that farmers don’t like that it burrows into pond banks and dock owners don’t like that it gnaws on some materials used for floatation. These rather narrow concerns don’t impress me. I like muskrats.
A muskrat swims back to its den with a mouthful of aquatic weed. You go, muskrat!