National Geographic : 1913 Jul
Photo by George Shiras, 3rd AN EARLY WINTER VIEW OF THE SAME HOUSE, WITH THE MUSKRAT GETTING ITS FINAL CARROT (SEE TEXT, PAGES 784-785) advance of the northern winter. About White Fish Lake most of these ani mals seemed to have quarters habitable throughout the year, but about o1 per cent built the usual dome of reeds and mud in the marshes at the inlet and out let of the lake, where the running waters prevented ice forming to the bottom, while another 10 per cent erected a sub stantial upper-story over their summer homes in the river bank. Night views of these different structures appear on pages 783 and 784. Early in November, before ice formed on the stream, a final flashlight picture was taken of a muskrat climbing his snow-covered house for a farewell bite at a carrot, the welcome odor of which had penetrated the cozy home and given notice that the prospective meal would be illuminated by a burst of light, affect ing his vision for the moment, but not his appetite. MOTHER MUSKRAT CHASES A MINK Once while watching for deer from a tree overhanging the water, I saw five young muskrats sunning themselves on a near-by log, while the mother swam about in a watchful way. Suddenly she gave a squeak and a flap of her tail; whereupon the youngsters tumbled off into the water and, diving, disappeared in the hollow end of the log, followed by the parent. Looking about for the cause of alarm, I saw a good-sized mink peer ing through the brush where the inner end of the log was embedded in the bank. Satisfied that the only chance for an im mediate meal lay in submarine opera tions and possibly not knowing a pro tector was at home, the mink glided into. the water and, without a moment's hesi tation, dived out of sight at the entrance to the log, leaving me in the belief that the purpose of such a bold marauder would soon be accomplished.