Spring rains have completely flooded the marsh. I'm afraid that eggs in ground nests have been washed away and burrows and hidey-holes have been submerged. Wild creatures are at the mercy of the elements, but seem resilient. Will there be goslings and ducklings this year?? I can only hope so.
This cute little creature is a muskrat, a semi-aquatic rodent which is found living in streams, marshes, ponds, and lakes throughout North America and Canada. A few years ago, one lived at the base of the Sycamore tree. I enjoyed watching him swim along the bank near my house but sadly, erosion filled in that part of the lake and the muskrat disappeared. Now he’s back!! Here is a video of him digging for roots at the edge of the marsh.
Muskrats have thick fur and grow to about 10-14 inches in length, excluding their long, flat, scaly tail. Back feet are webbed and the tail is used to steer when swimming. Here are a few Muskrat facts:
It's snowing here in Georgia, a somewhat rare occurance. Doesn't the scarlet Cardinal look beautiful against the snowly magnolia leaves? Birds have been flocking to the feeders all day looking for an easy meal. In fact, the yard has been overrun by voracious Redwing Blackbirds.
The bird feeders are stocked, the heated bird baths are working, and there are lots of evergreens around for shelter. The birds and creatures are taken care of so now I can enjoy an evening in my warm house.
Lots of White-tailed does visit the yard but few males show up. This lone buck lingered in the yard, giving me plenty of time to appreciate his magnificence. Awesome antlers, but he looks like a shrub-eating machine, doesn't he?
The White-tailed deer seemed to be absent for a while but last week a mother deer brought the first fawn to graze in the backyard. Isn't the baby adorable?
Until her fawn is strong enough to walk with her, the mother deer hides it when she leaves to keep it safe from predators. The spots provide excellent camouflage in the forest or tall grasses.
Here's another pleasant surprise. I don't often see male deer, but this youngster struck a stately pose at the edge of the lake yesterday. You can see his antlers aren't too big, but he's already a handsome devil.
The deer now visit every day--trolling the peach tree, nibbling my shrubs, and eating all my Coneflowers. That's okay. It's worth a little foliage to see such sweet, graceful creatures enjoying their freedom in the marsh.
Isn't this a traquil scene? I wonder if this pretty doe has a fawn stashed in the nearby woods. This is the time of year deer give birth, so I hope so. Even though deer can be a nuisance, I still enjoy seeing them, and deer babies are too cute.
How do squirrels know the exact moment to plunder? The serviceberries have ripened and this little pest is the first to gorge. Although I'd prefer that birds get the succulent berries, there's no stopping a squirrel.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Eagle Cam 2014 This camera streams the activities of the eagle nest located 110 feet up, in a tree on the grounds of the US FWS National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia.