Yesterday Alanna was looking out the window when she noticed an animal running down the stream bank. She called me over in time for me to get a look at the black, serpentine creature galumphing along over the snow. We’ve seen mink in our stream before - I even caught one in a cage for a little - but though this animal looked similar, it was much larger.
It was, as I said, galumphing along at a good pace (if you’ve ever seen the distinctive way weasels and their weasely kin move when they’re trying to get somewhere in a hurry you know I use the word advisedly), and in a matter of moments it was gone. I took the camera and walked down the stream to the edge of our property, but the tracks made it clear that the animal was on a mission that had taken it farther than I was willing to pursue.
It was a fisher, which I’ve seen only once before, when I was moving the cows just after daybreak, and I wondered what would prompt this one to break the crepuscular habit common to the species. And this is how living on a farm can prompt you to learn interesting things, like the fact that a female fisher will maintain fertilized eggs in a static state for about ten months prior to a 50 day gestation, meaning that birth and breeding take place in the same season, which is march through april. So the most reasonable explanation I can think is that this was a male on the prowl.