WHAT A DAY!
Late morning, not dressed yet, barefoot, sitting at the kitchen counter having coffee, chatting with Kathy. She is facing the sliding window to the back of our home, I’m facing her. She screams in excitement, It’s uh, uh, uh…! I turn to see a short-tailed weasel running from the shed with a mouse in its mouth. Fortunately my tripod with camera and long lens was right next to me as I was photographing beavers down at the river the previous night. I grabbed it and ran outside on the deck. Holy moly! Those guys are quick. Not a chance to get a focused shot. But then it hops on a log, pauses long enough for me to get it in focus, and jumps!
I follow, barefoot, into the forest in hopes of finding its den. Ouch! Oo! Eek! Ouch! No chance.
Were we excited? You bet. It is not often we get a chance to see ermines, anywhere, but a chance to photograph one in our own backyard? Wow!
What we do know is that they cache extra food for later consumption. That means if they find a supply they will return to catch all they can. We wait. 10 minutes, 20 minutes and then it returns. This time I’m ready. I get off a few quick shots as it returns to the shed.
But this time is different. It comes out of the entrance at blazing speed and whips around the back side of the shed. We don’t see it for a couple of minutes and then…there it is, way off in the meadow with another mouse. It is heading back to the log. Sure enough it jumps up, pauses and jumps again. Not one but TWO chances to get the in-flight shot!
That was enough food for the day or it got the last mouse. Haven’t seen it since.
What a day!