Monday, March 7, 2016

An unexpected visitor

Day 7 of 31 at TWT!
"Whoa! Look at that!"

A dark, furry something with a fluffy tail scampers through the woods behind my parents' house. My brain starts running an identification algorithm: Not a squirrel. Not a groundhog. Not a coon. Not a cat. Not a fox. Ummm?

"It's like a muskrat, or a ferret or mink or something like that!" I might be hopping up and down, just a bit.

"Are ferrets wild? Do they live anywhere? I thought they were just pets!" My mom looks like she's not sure any of my possibilities are actually possibilities.

"Well, they have to live somewhere, right? Although I don't think they live around here. And I think muskrats have skinny tails, like rats, not fluffy ones... Ooh, there it is again!"

The funny whatever-it-is frolics toward clearing behind the neighbors' house.

"Maybe it's a mink. I think they live around here. Didn't we look something like this up awhile ago and it was a mink?"

"Where's my iPad?" My mom scrambles toward the counter and Googles "picture of a muskrat". (I resist the urge to tell her that she could just Google "muskrat" and there would be pictures.)

"Oh yeah, see, it has a skinny tail, not like this thing!" I remembered correctly! "I think it's a mink! Google 'mink'!"

"Yeah, and look at their bodies -- the muskrat is way too fat! This is skinny!" My mom agrees. She types something new (hopefully "mink", not "picture of a mink"), and a collage of varying views of the-thing-in-the-woods appears.

"Yes! Look! That's it! For sure!" We both squeal. "It IS a mink!"

We couldn't get a picture, but this is just what it was like! (photo credit: mink? via photopin (license)
One of my favorite things about nature is its constant surprises.


  1. How cool was that!? Isn't it amazing that you can identify something so quickly? Wonder where it came from.I loved the conversation back and forth with your mom. You just never know when a slice of life will come creeping into your world.

  2. Love the detailed dialogue in your entry! What an exciting sighting!! I love the post-- minus the observations about your Mom's googling. �� Love, Mom.

  3. How exciting to see something more than a squirrel! Maybe a fox next time?


Comments make me happy and I'd love to hear from YOU! :-)