“Wermine” Visits the Homestead

By , April 21, 2011

A few days ago we had a surprise visitor to the homestead: a short tailed weasel. We often see weasels around the homestead, sometimes up close, but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen any. Aly sighted this one as she sat on the veranda, reading. I saw it later running along the cliff over by the rope swing. It is about halfway between it winter ermine coat, and its summer weasel coat. It is, in essence, a “wermine.”

ermine in transitional coat

Welcome to the homestead! (Photo: Aly Zeiger).

ermine in transitional coat

Its head is hidden here, but you can see its transitional pelt better (Photo: Aly Zeiger).

We’re very glad to see a weasel on the property again, and hope it stays. Despite our expectation that the severe but largely snow free winter would knock down the vole and mouse population, they seem to be doing fine, and they seem as eager for our gardening season to start as we are. They need predators like the weasel. Weasels are even better than minks, because, while the minks will hunt rodents, they also fish, so they’re not as dedicated to eating the garden raiders as we’d like. Besides, as bright and fun as the minks can be, the weasels are much more so.

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