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Thursday, November 20, 2014

We've Got Weasels

Well, not really.  We have ermines, not weasels but the w's went together so much better in the title.  

I posted on facebook this week about my encounter with an ermine; me on one side of the door with a camera and four cats trying to escape and give chase, and the ermine on the other side looking for a place to hide from the blue jays and crows harassing it.

Since then, I've been thinking about this lithe and lovely visitor at my door.  I've lived here for nearly ten years and this is the first time I've seen an ermine.  They are brown in summer and white in winter.  This one was white on a day that the snow had fallen and melted so stood out like a flash of light in a drab landscape.

I've never outgrown my need to know why... about everything.  Just ask my husband.  So why has this critter shown up in my life now? 

Yes, I know.  It was searching for food and our wooded yard provides lots of opportunities to find mice and voles.  There are plenty of squirrel tunnels under the rock walls on the property.

But on another level, why has the ermine shown up in my life and why now?

Ted Andrews in his book Animal Speak suggests that these creatures represent gracefulness, silence and solitariness.  People with this totem "uncover a lot about people in their lives as their ability for silence enables them to go unseen and unheard, even in the company of others.  Powers of silent observation sniff out what is hidden or secretive without anyone being the wiser."

He asks these questions.  "Are you not digging hard enough?  Is there a narrow space you may have to squeeze through?  Are you missing the obvious?  Are others around you being fully honest? Are you trusting your own feelings and senses--regardless of others?"

Something to think about.  And I do like to hang on like a weasel to new ideas.  Ahem, like an ermine.

Words in colour will take you to another site with additional information, if you click on them.  This photo is blurry because both the ermine and I were moving fast.  I feel lucky to have been offered the chance to take this photo.


Anonymous said...

She does like to know why

Carol Steel said...

Hi Gary. Thanks for your support of my incessant wondering about the wonders of this world.

Crafty Green Poet said...


I rarely see stoats (as we call them in summer) but one winter day I had a wonderful encounter with an ermine (as we call them in winter!) trotting down a country road towards me. Beautiful creatures!

Carol Steel said...

Thanks, Juliet. I was fascinated by the movement and alert intelligence of this creature. I could watch it assessing the situation and figuring how how to avoid the birds chasing it. A lucky opportunity for me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,
Perspective, eh?
Put this in your pipe, dearie!

Ermines – the vermins –
must cease to exist!
Sew weasels (post-squirmin’)
‘round collars and wrists.
I’ll call nothing ‘cute’ that
descends from the rat,
but will, with my boot,
render tender and flat.
Extermine the rascals! I
don’t want to see ‘em.
If ever I did, there is
still the Legislature.

Hope this helps you focus.

PS - At what point will your readers realize my insanity?