About Me

My photo
We are known as PaWingers or just The Wingers by our Geocaching friends. When we found our first cache we had to come up with a name to log the find. We came up with this name simply because of residing in Pa. and because one of our many passions is cruising this beautiful country on our Honda Goldwing. Aside from geocaching we are passionate about most anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling and biking. We are blessed beyond words with a wonderful son and daughter in law. We're also blessed with some terriffic family and friends. We consider ourselves very fortunate due to the fact that after being married over 40 years we still enjoy these things together.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Muskrat Love at Lyman Lake

While camping at Lyman Lake recently I awoke early and headed down to the lake with the DSLR and the 100-400mm.  It was my hope that the beavers would be out and about and might want their pictures taken.  As I stood there silently the little gnats fed off me like I was an all you can eat buffet.  Just as I was about to surrender and turn the turf over to the feeding insects I spotted something heading across the water.  My initial thought was that there was a baby beaver heading my way.  As the excitement built I suddenly got a glimpse of the tail and realized immediately this was a Muskrat.  Oh well, Muskrats are cool too!

This little guy swam right toward me and then crawled up on the bank and started munching away on a nice green salad.  After munching for awhile he grabbed a big clump of long grass and got back in the water.  He swam toward the hut and then disappeared into the depths.  I watched this little guy repeat this little activity maybe 3-4 times and he never knew I was there.

So you're probably wondering what is so special about Muskrats that earns them a spot in the Whoda' Thunk Blog and I'm about to tell ya'.  Did you know why they are called Muskrats?  Sure they are a member of the rodent family but not truly a rat as we know rats.  They have two scent glands back by their tail that are used to mark their territory with a "musky" odor.  Even though their feet are somewhat webbed they actually use their tail for propulsion through the water.  These critters can swim underwater for as long as 17 minutes.  While these little tidbits of info are interesting this alone wouldn't qualify Muskrats to be in the Whoda' Thunk Blog. 

So I'm about to tell you why this is a Whoda' Thunk critter.  In the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit there is a longstanding dispensation which allows Catholics to eat Muskrat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent.  Since it is basically an aquatic critter it is considered the same as fish.  For this reason, Muskrat is a relatively traditional Lenten meal in parts of Michigan.  And that folks made me say, "Whoda' thunk"!

No comments: