A Small, Long-Tailed Miracle

Here in the comfort of my living room, I just got to observe a long-tailed weasel hunting in my yard.

Long-Tailed Weasel

Long-Tailed Weasel

I happened to look out my south facing picture window and was watching a red squirrel on the edge of the little swamp when I noticed a similar-sized animal off in the woods heading towards me. It was instantly obvious that it wasn’t a squirrel, not just because of its speed, but the tempo of its movements–some herky-jerky, some quite fluid–kind of like John Belushi just before he climbs the ladder at the sorority house in Animal House.

The squirrel saw it coming, climbed a small bush, and got into a defensive position. The weasel came close enough to it to get a good look and smell. It then proceeded to head towards my front yard and the big feeder. I can’t imagine why he didn’t attack the squirrel, but he must of thought better of it…or he wasn’t very hungry.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

He left the feeder and proceeded up the front walk towards the front stairs until he was literally right below me. He was so close that I could even see two specks of white on either side of his black nose.

Black Nose, White Spots

Black Nose, White Spots

Then he turned back, headed toward the garden and eventually the other feeders.

All this time he was being trailed by a male cardinal and when he reached the last feeders he picked up a pair of blue jays that followed his every step.

Male Cardinal

Male Cardinal

He then went down one of the many holes in the snow near the big boulders and disappeared.

This was easily the longest I ever got to observe a weasel. Even the one that bounded over my boots on Stratton Mountain was gone in less than a minute.

All this in less than 5 minutes. I was having a “poor me” day. I was bemoaning my lack of hunting time this year. Well this little incident changed all that instantly. I was suddenly very grateful for where I was. What if I didn’t happen to look out the window at that very moment?

Some miracles come in small glimpses of time and size, but they’re miracles nevertheless.

WLAGS
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