"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a child playing on the seashore while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
Sir Isaac Newton
On my user page is a list of the people who are called "Friend of" people. These are people who list me among their friends. You can't see the list, but I can see it, and it is a fairly large number. This is public blog, so I am glad to know that people read me with some regularity. The other day that number dropped by one. Someone no longer has me as a friend. I don't know who it is, though, as the list is too long for me to have the contents memorized. I am not sure how I feel about having been officially de-friended by someone who once thought of me as a friend. I could be hurt, I suppose, but then I don't even know who dropped me, so that seems silly. Ah, well, no one is loved forever, right?
More significantly, my muskrat seems to be gone, perhaps forever. Every summer I take a sort of inventory of my personal animals at the lake. Great Blue Heron (check). Dragonflies (check). Bald Eagle nesting in my tree (check). Duck families (check). Sewing needles (check). Various songbirds (check). Muskrat (NO CHECK!!)
Now this is my personal muskrat. She has a den under the bank about two feet to the left of the old dock pilings. Every summer she busily combs the water lilies for the most succulent of them, which she prunes off and carries like a flag to her babies under the bank. I love her hard work, how she swims head high, avoiding me by only as much as necessary to be safe.
This muskrat and her ancestors have been doing this as long as I remember. And now she is gone. I even went to the DNR yesterday to ask how she could have left her den. The woman there said that there is a muskrat season. She could have been trapped for her fur. I said, "That is MY muskrat on MY land! I don't want her killed!" She said "The muskrat may have gone off your land to a legal trap and been killed."
Bummmmmmer. I am still watching for her, but hope is dwindling.
I read yesterday that two thirds of the babies born in Stratford the year Shakespeare was born died in infancy.