View Full Version : Say hello to my new neighbor

Leon m
04-17-2005, 08:51 PM

While my son and I were working on the garden today we saw this little felliow setting up house in the old stone wall.We've never seen one(short tailed Weasel/ or ermine) in the wild before. He was a lot of fun to watch (quuick little guy), hope he sticks around.

Don Olney
04-17-2005, 08:58 PM
Count your chickens!

Jack Heinlen
04-17-2005, 09:00 PM
So long as you aren't keeping chickens or other small animals he'll be a fine neighbor. Good mouser and ratter.

I had the strangest sighting of my life the other day. Bangor is surrounded by woods and minor development, and I've always associated this critter with more wild areas than where I was. I was driving to the grocery, in a developed neighborhood, and I swear I saw a fisher cat cross the road, right in front of me. It could not have been anything else. Medium-sized weasel, that humping gait, brown. It was a fisher. Very odd to see it in that setting.

[ 04-17-2005, 10:18 PM: Message edited by: Jack Heinlen ]

Leon m
04-17-2005, 09:03 PM
No chickens,and he can eat all the mice he wants. smile.gif :cool:

Jack Heinlen
04-17-2005, 09:41 PM

Steve, one of my oldest friends, was there for a long weekend of backpacking. I was living out in the woods of North central Massachusetts. The day Steve arrived a dear cat, Shadow, a little black boy cat who'd been with me for years, disappeared. It was Spring, about this time. We walked the road, called, but Shadow was gone.

Steve and I did our backpack, along with wild puppy Sheba, but Shadow never came home.

That winter I saw a fisher, stumping through the snow, just a ghost really, gone in a flash. I don't know how Shadow met his end, but that fisher was a good candidate for murderer.

Ron Williamson
04-18-2005, 05:34 AM
There is a weasel that frequents the wood racks inside the back of our shop.
We see him about once a year.

04-18-2005, 07:25 AM
HEY! I didn't know that DUTCH was moving! :D ;)

My sister had a white Ermine in her basement this past winter. Drove the cats nuts! Not sure if it was because the cats couldn't catch it, or whether it was because the Ermine was killing all the cat's mice...

[ 04-18-2005, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: Mrleft8 ]

04-18-2005, 05:54 PM
Jack, it also could have been a River Otter, as Maine is actually full of them.Unfortunately, most animals these days are Road Kills! If one comes across one in Maine, and it appears fresh, please send it to the "College of The Atlantic", Bar Harbor, Natural History Museum. otherwise known as the Dorr Museum. I spent 4 1/2 years there studying Taxidermy, Museum prep, and display presentation. We had Fedral Permits for the various animals that were killed by cars, in 1984 we had over 2000 specimens, in freeezers, everything from Black Bears to Eagles, Snakes, and River Otters- BTW if one ever gets to Bar Harbor, goto the Dorr Museum, 2 of my displays are there- one is a Double Crested Cormorant, and the other is a River Otter, coming out of a ice hole with a catfish. That dispaly took me 1000 hours to prepare an display, college credit!

Jack Heinlen
04-18-2005, 06:16 PM
No, it was a fisher. I have no idea what it was doing there in the middle of a busy road to Bar Harbor, but it was a fisher. I guess just crossing the road.

Are otters family mustelidae? I've forgotten. I think they are. But the critter I saw wasn't sleek like an otter, it was fuzzy.

04-18-2005, 11:06 PM
As I was building my boat and it was upside down the light was in my eyes and I thought a cat had jumped up on it and it was just sitting there. I moved after a couple minutes and it was a raccoon.He hung out every night when i would turn the light on. The other night I was standing out there and the branch in the avacado tree moved. I swore it did.2ft away from me sat this owl just looking me over.I know,these are not rare animals but I am in the city of Tampa.Since then I have seen an opposum that walks the top of the fence every night,bats and a white owl sitting on the stop sign at the corner(my son actually spotted that one for me).

04-19-2005, 09:10 AM
If you have a cat you should tell it to be very, very careful, or become an indoor puss.

Leon m
04-19-2005, 12:23 PM
Pipefitter... :cool:

Ahp, I tried to tell her but she don't speak english. :D

Jack Heinlen
04-19-2005, 08:47 PM
If you have a cat you should tell it to be very, very careful, or become an indoor puss. Shadow the cat had been with me almost ten years, during which we'd lived in both Baltimore and MA, in sorta exurbia. When we moved to the woods he was delighted. I have a distinct memory of him out standing atop and clawing a fallen log, a few days after we'd arrived, sun streaming and me saying, remember Shadow, we aren't in Kansas anymore.

I think he had a good life and death. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm just sure he got et by someone.

Phillip Allen
04-19-2005, 08:51 PM
"...a white owl sitting on the stop sign at the corner"

THAT owl is looking for Harry...

Jack Heinlen
04-19-2005, 09:06 PM
Shadow. A pip. He seems so far away in time, it was a decade ago he disappeared.

Some time in there I got a notion to have a lovebird. I bought one at a show. Shadow, though obviously interested, was a perfect gentleman. One time, after a few days away, we came home to Leda the bird and Shadow the cat both loose in the apartment. She was flightless because of a feather disease that finally killed her, and he was content to follow her around without eating her! The sight of that little plucked girl, followed around but not eaten by Shadow, is a favorite memory.

Bob Smalser
04-19-2005, 09:59 PM
I have a big bull otter this year who's discovered that if he kicks mama Canada Goose off of her nesting island every couple days, that she just goes ahead and lays another egg for his breakfast.

04-19-2005, 10:30 PM
My cat was terrified of raccoons.

John Bell
04-19-2005, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
My cat was terrified of raccoons.As well he ought to be. A coon will shred a good size dog to ribbons in a one-on-one confrontation. There ain't no 12 pound cat than has enough fight in him for a 30 lb coon.

I don't like the darn things either. I've done a lot of camping in places where the little bandits have lost their fear of humans. As soon as the sun goes down, they'll saunter into your camp and steal the food right out of your hand. And if you've got any sense you won't argue!

Edited to add: But really I don't see a coon paying much attention to a cat, unless he's trying to steal away what the little thief has dug out of your garbage cans.

[ 04-19-2005, 11:41 PM: Message edited by: John Bell ]

Jack Heinlen
04-19-2005, 11:01 PM
Another favorite memory, re coons. I was camped on the beach at Edisto. Driving a Suzuki Samurai. I'd neglected to button up the back flap.

Sometime, three in the morning, I woke to a racoon bachanalia in my larder, in the back of the jeep. I got up, made a bunch of noise, and chased most of them off. But one, an old, fat bull of a coon, just sat there, eating my chocolate covered coffee beans. He, with all my yelling, only left when he was good and ready. He shat before he left. Coffee.

What a mess! They tore all the dry goods apart. Next night, even though I was more careful, they were hovering, making that odd warble they make. I drove away the next day.

[ 04-20-2005, 12:29 AM: Message edited by: Jack Heinlen ]

04-20-2005, 09:17 AM
We went camping once and The coons kept getting in our food as well. So i latched the cooler (which they know how to unlatch,btw) and set a watermelon on top of it.As I was laying there I heard a thump sounding exactly like a watermelon hitting the ground.HA! caught the little critter rolling my melon across the ground and retrieved it,put it in the cooler and locked it in the truck. Woke the next morning feeling I had won that battle somehow and when I looked at the melon it had a hole in the side not much bigger than a 50 cent piece. Cut it open to find it was completely gutted.Tricky little critters.They can also unzip a tent even if you tie the 3 zippers together with a string.

04-20-2005, 05:42 PM
Ok. I just had to add my own (actually, my parents' ) mouse control:

Very hard to catch this guy on camera:

These guys (some years there were up to half-a-dozen) would play right below the window. http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid165/p668defc99a8b3a3cf704735f57141ba4/f465d865.jpg