Weather at Bedford, Hanscom Field, MA - via NOAA's National Weather Service

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

more skiing

I had another lovely ski today, and saw many deer tracks and mouse tracks.  While the snow we had a few days ago has settled considerably, there are more animal signs to see since it hasn't snowed more, or melted.

I also realized that many people may wonder about those "fisher tracks" under the blog title.  A fisher is sometimes called a fisher cat, but it is not a cat at all, and doesn't even look like one, to me, though small fishers are roughly the size of a large house cat.  Fishers are in the weasel family.  They have the reputation for being fierce and nasty, which isn't surprising, since they are one step down from wolverines.  We see fishers in our yard occasionally, and see their tracks frequently.  The first time I saw one, which turned into a pair, several years ago now, I called our local wildlife office (this was in the days before anything you ever wanted to know was available on the internet).  The person I spoke with told me that they are moving back into this area as the second growth forest is getting older and denser, in spite of continued development.  Two centuries ago they were fairly common around here, and left as more and more land was transformed into field and pasture.  Fishers like moderate to deep forests, where they can hide - they don't much like people.  And they don't generally prey on cats and small dogs either, though they would take one if the catching was easy.  Their favorite food, according to the wildlife guy I spoke to, is gray squirrels - and we have plenty of those!  Another interesting thing I remember learning about fishers is that they are diurnal in the winter and nocturnal in the summer.

A great book to learn more about fishers, and other animals as well, is the Stokes Guide to Animal Tracking and Behavior by Donald and Lillian Stokes.  In fact, most of their books are good - I also have the Reptiles & Amphibians one.  I'm amassing quite a collection of field guides, which is fun because I love books, and each guide has different information about whatever subject it covers.  And more information is always good!

1 comment:

Thanks for being patient - I don't moderate comments every day, but I will get to it!