This week, walking around our little pond, we were surprised by a new condo going in just off the shore. A muskrat (or two) had chomped the dried cattails into bits and collected them into a compact mound all ready for a warm, dry winter.
I felt bad about destroying all their hard work and planning, but I can’t have animals burrowing down through our rubber pond liner and eating all my fish. I spent a good hour and a half laboriously dragging the mound to the shore and piling it up to dry in the wind. Theoretically, I will collect it all later and move it to an approved pile off in the field. I often have trouble finishing up that part of the task, and it drives my husband crazy.
I couldn’t sensibly leave it at that, but also used my cutting rake to pull as many dried cattails out of the water as I could manage. I’ve made headway this year reducing their foothold and clearing the water that was getting choked up by their spreading roots and tall spikes. Never mind that I was wearing good clothes and had not intended to do heavy chores, I get a bit obsessive once I start on a task.
I’ve been back to check on it, and it appears the little muskrats have been defeated and have moved off to find a more inviting place to build a new home. Crisis averted.