Muskrat on the move, hooded merganser highlight recent hike

Posted Dec. 06, 2011, at 9:49 a.m.
Bad hair day? No, just a female hooded merganser
Dave Small
Bad hair day? No, just a female hooded merganser
A male hooded merganser swims near the snow-dappled shore.
Dave Small
A male hooded merganser swims near the snow-dappled shore.
Hooded mergansers in an icy pond.
Dave Small
Hooded mergansers in an icy pond.
Natural light on a magnolia stellata.
Dave Small
Natural light on a magnolia stellata.
A muskrat, no bigger than a grapefruit.
Dave Small
A muskrat, no bigger than a grapefruit.
Muskrat on the move
Dave Small
Muskrat on the move

An unexpected treat greeted me at Mount Hope Cemetery last week.  It is not only a beautiful place to walk, hike or jog, but a peaceful area within the Bangor city limits to observe nature. I was able to spend quite a while watching this little muskrat, perhaps a big as a grapefruit, as he dove and swam.

After a couple of hours of walking about I returned to the pond area to see if Mr./Mrs. Muskrat was still around and was able to get fairly close to these hooded mergansers. The magnolia stellata was catching some really wonderful light at the Lyle Littlefield Ornamental Garden at the University of Maine in Orono. I enjoy late fall and early winter light. It’s quite remarkable.

Take care and enjoy our great outdoors.

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