Picture of Muskrat from earthwatch2.org
Muskrat lives in marshes, ponds, streams and rivers, and builds a lodge similar to a beaver lodge. Unlike beavers, Muskrat is really a rodent that swims. Muskrat eats vegetation, mussels, crayfish, frogs and turtles.
Muskrats are covered with short, thick fur which is medium to dark brown in color with the belly a bit lighter but as the age increases the "fur" turns a partly gray in color. The fur has two layers, which helps protect them from the cold water. They have long tails which are covered with scales rather than hair and are flattened vertically to aid them in swimming. When they walk on land the tail drags on the ground. ~ Wikipedia
So in this time of change, why is Muskrat showing up? Muskrat comes to us to give us a blessing and to teach us lessons. Muskrat’s blessing is one of survival. It has learned to survive in some noxious water conditions. She can also stay submerged for up to fifteen minutes without feeling the effects of carbon dioxide. Muskrat says, “Breathing deeply allows us to saturate our blood with oxygen that supports us when oxygen is not available. We wish you humans the gift of deep breath so that you expand your lung capacity and will be able to survive air that is not always clean. Breathing deeply will soothe you, and help you digest your food better. Find time each day to breath deeply. Keep plants around you to cleanse the air and to provide you with life force.”
Often Muskrat shares the same habitat as a beaver. However, these two furry river animals do not fight over food or territory. Instead, they symbiotically work together to keep the water clean, flowing, and healthy. Although muskrats may fight one another over territory, Muskrat shows us how to create a community where all creatures depending on the water environment may thrive.