Weasel Words

Near the tip of the dragon’s tail –literally up the creek a few hundred meters– lives a small black weasel (or is it an ermine?).  You probably could row a racing shell up that far, but no one does:  shallow water, too many sunken logs and such.  Earlier this winter, I’ve spotted this lil’ aquatic creature fishing in the stream, swimming underwater for several yards at a stretch with an intermittent skein of bubbles trailing along at the surface.  When the stream briefly froze over during the first week in January, the weasel swam between small airholes in the ice, popping up to look around and take another breath for the next plunge below.

When I was there looking for the weasel during last week’s January Thaw, I was instead surprised by a large racoon that ambled up from the water’s edge.  S/he was surprised as well, and after brief hesitation headed off in the opposite direction.  I must have been along the path to home, because a while later I heard the ‘coon rustling in the underbrush behind me.

Yesterday we had tremendous rain, from the middle of the night right through to the middle of the afternoon.  The creek level has risen by at least three feet.  Let’s hope both weasel and racoon have temporary quarters on higher ground until the floodwaters subside.


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