Who am I?
We are rodents, like mice and rats and beavers. We live in water and are well adapted to swim, dive and survive in this watery environment. Our fur is waterproof, we have a layer of fat to keep us warm, we steer with our tail like a rudder on a ship and our feet are webbed. We can grow up to a couple of feet long and weigh up to 4 pounds. I can breed anytime of the year, though tend to give birth in early spring to 5-10 little babies. I can do this up to 5 times a year! I might build a home along the banks of my water or i might even build something like a beaver lodge to raise my babies in. I will care for the little ones for about 6 weeks when they finally take off on their own.
Where can you find me?
Around the Chesapeake you can find us in brackish water creeks and coves and in just about any body of fresh water.
What do I eat?
We eat mostly aquatic plants and can clear an area rather quickly. We will eat small animals if we must, but we prefer our vegetables.
What might eat me?
Lots of things: Raccoon, Red Fox, owls, hawks, American Bald Eagles, Common Snapping Turtle, Bullfrog, snakes, and Largemouth Bass; as well as cats, dogs, and people. At the Elms it is usually the eagles or the otters that eat my babies. Life is hard here.
Cool reasons why I am the critter of the month!
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
-Mary Oliver -