Saturday, August 26, 2017
Not an expert
I spend a lot of time outdoors in nature.
Although it's probably more time than many modern, first-world humans spend, my exposure to nature is sharply limited. During the time of easy living I may put in 14-16 hour days outside but my year-round average daily outside time is probably more like 4-6 hours.
Location-wise, my exposure is also sharply limited. Nearly all of that time is spent on a few square miles of the ranch. I know the ranch pretty well, and some might say I know it intimately, but that's not really so. I'm very familiar with the geology and topography and surface biosphere and climate, but I know next to nothing about what goes on beneath the surface, or indeed, above the surface. I occasionally visit at night, but more than 99 percent of my active outside time is between dawn and dusk.
I see a lot of stuff and I think about a lot of stuff and over the years I've developed a solid general understanding of the seasonal ebb and flow of the place, of the wide variation that makes every moment distinctly unique within the framework of seasonal and annual norms.
I'm anything but an expert.
I observed what I believe to be another long-tailed weasel yesterday. I took some pictures and shot a bit of video.
This weasel appeared to be quite different from the one I saw last spring.
It was a third again larger, and it's coloration was darker.
A bit more study makes me think that the one I observed last year was a female, and the one I saw yesterday a male. I also think that the one I saw last year may have been near the end of it's winter color change (the white on its face, etc.) while yesterday's example was wearing a full summer suit.
Yet another interesting glimpse into aspects of nature which I know next to nothing about despite my long association with this place.