Thursday, September 16, 2010

How much fun...

...can you have in a cattle grate? Well, if you ask this long-tailed weasel, the answer would be a whole lotta fun!

Photograph of a long-tailed weasel having fun in a cattle grate

I encountered this weasel while approaching a cattle grate crossing, and it really put on a show for me while it bounded between the slats, dropping in one area and popping up somewhere else. If you've ever seen river otters playing in a zoo, this it totally what it looked like. This guy was really playful, and seemed only to move in fast-motion -- that is, until it became curious about my car. It cautiously crept towards the vehicle (which I was standing a bit away from) and then would bolt back to the safety of the grate before creeping a little bit closer the next time. Eventually it was brave enough to approach, and was sure to inspect all of the tires and the tail pipe.

Checking out the area behind the tires:
Photograph of a long-tailed weasel checking out the tire of a car

Soon enough though, it realized that a car isn't all that interesting when compared to a cattle grate, and it bounded back to its playground.


  1. Thanks, John! It was really fun to get to spend some time so close to one.

  2. Congratulations Pat. I love weasels. The only long-tailed weasel I've ever seen and photographed was around Pierce Point Ranch. Where did you see this one?

  3. Thanks, Jim. They are really fun to watch, and I've only ever seen one previous to this (near Abbott's Lagoon) and that was at a fair distance. It was really cool to get a chance to watch this one from up close. I encountered this one on some agricultural land just south of Petaluma (along the 101 corridor).