Clues Two

A close-up view of a common muskrat eating plants

I saw my first muskrat at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond back when I was first getting into photography. Sadly I found it dead not much later, but my fascination with these rodents was born. So I was particularly pleased when we moved to the Northwest to find them here as well. Over the years I’ve seen one in most of the ponds and lakes around the auto tour at Ridgefield, although surprisingly I seem to be the only one who is excited to see these adorable creatures.

While the face of the muskrat is unique compared to the other aquatic rodents at the refuge, its distinctive white claws are also an important clue, visible here on the front paws of this hungry muskrat. While I have seen muskrats many times, they are shy creatures and my glimpses are usually brief. Thankfully though this one let me photograph from close range to my heart’s content as it dined on plants at the edge of Canvasback Lake.

This is why I can’t stop going to Ridgefield.

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