Give me a minute; I’m thinking!

By: Danny Brown

Aug 21 2012

Tags: , , ,

Category: Mammals


I promise I won’t make a habit of attaching clever (cleverless?) titles to my images but I couldn’t resist with this one. I photographed this muskrat at a wetland on Busch Conservation Area in St. Charles County, Missouri. Oblivious to my well-camouflaged presence, it swam right to me, almost too close for a shot. The light was perfect so I started clicking away with enthusiasm. By the time the critter finished grooming and soaking up the morning sun, I’d made at least 20 keeper images. I’ve published several photos of this particular muskrat since I ran into it on that beautiful morning but I can’t remember ever sharing this image. I like it because you can really see the creepy claws on the furry little rodent.

I cooperate with several waterfowl managers to photograph ducks and one thing they all have in common is that they hate muskrats. Muskrats seem to dedicate their lives to destroying managed wetland infrastructure, including water controls, berms, outlets, and everything else. They are either downright ornery or just averse to our efforts to provide waterfowl habitat. I have the greatest empathy for my friends who do battle with these tenacious critters because I love to photograph waterfowl more than anything else!

Canon 40D; Canon 500/4 L IS Lens with Canon 1.4x TC II; 1/800 sec @ f/5.6; ISO 200; RAW Capture; Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod with Wimberley II Head; Processed in Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP)

Thanks for Looking!



5 comments on “Give me a minute; I’m thinking!”

  1. I *do* love clever captions (they often mask the shortcomings of my photos!) and this one was both a delightful photo and caption. I am glad I walked up to you and started talking, that day in Forest Park….I’ve benefited immensely 🙂

    • Deepa — Your outgoing and trusting personality have led you to a variety of new friends for sure and all of them have benefited, as well, from having you in their lives.

  2. What a great shot, of that little furry ball, (Marty, the Muckrat). Thank you for giving us the first hand view, of nature in our beautiful of Missouri. Keep up the good work.


  3. Look at that luxuiant fur!
    I can certainly appreciate the expense and bother of muskrat damage to constructed wetlands. Maybe what this charming rodent is thinking about for a minute, is that we humans should pay some attention to designing and constructing the wetlands differently, so he and his kind might coexist with the waterfowl. Beavers, too.
    (At least we don’t have nutria.)

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