Fans of A Christmas Story will know how this juvenile bald eagle ended up with its tongue stuck to the ice.
This is another picture from when I saw a handful of juvenile eagles eating a dead nutria on a frozen lake at Ridgefield. By this point it was slim pickings, this eagle was trying to eat the tail but never managed it while I watched. The autofocus missed pretty badly so the picture is soft even at web resolutions.
I was privileged to see the torch for the animal Olympics on its way through Mount Rainier to its final destination in the appropriately named Olympic National Park. I was initially concerned that the rain would put out the torch but soon realized a greater danger — the torchbearer was eating the torch.
I took Scout to our vet yesterday to get her left eye looked at, the same eye that bothered her earlier in the year. Scout is pretty shy and hid under the blanket in her carrier, but once in the examination room she turned on the charm and all were sorry to see her go.
As suspected earlier in the year, it looks like she has a viral infection that will come and go, she gets the eyedrops from before that prevent a bacterial infection and also a new gel to minimize the effects of the virus. The gel is given orally and is described as “a highly palatable gel”.
Scout says no.
At least she would if she were talking to me.
I always enjoy watching for animal footprints when I hike, such as the time I was hiking in Yellowstone in the rain and came across a water-filled grizzly print, or when I walked a sandy path beside the prints of a black bear and could see how it dug in its claws as it climbed or descended the short hills.
But it isn’t every day that you see footprints in stone.
These prints were left by a hoary marmot that I had been photographing next to the Pinnacle Peak Trail in Mount Rainier National Park. It spent a great deal of time warming itself and watching the world from this flat rock which looked over the talus field, and when it got up for more foraging on the damp hillside I realized it left some wet footprints behind. I took a quick picture before they dried and were gone.
As I mentioned in my previous post, this year I’ve seen three long-tailed weasels (Mustela frenata) after never having seen them before. However they weren’t my first introduction to the weasel family itself, the mustelids. I had a similar experience last year with mink (Mustela vison), I saw three after never having seen them before — unfortunately I haven’t seen them since, I hope I have better luck with the weasels.
And of course I once had daily contact with the gray-tailed weasel (Mustela templeton), the sort of weasel who would act like he wanted to play, then when you got up to follow him, double back and steal your chair. And still look up at you with the purest innocence. That is a weasel.
While the gray-tailed weasel has sadly gone extinct, scientists are studying a mammal that some believe is a new species, the orange-tailed weasel (Mustela sam). The scientific community wants to wait for more data before final classification as a weasel, but two young scientists note that he will push you aside and steal your food, and with manners like that there’s really no reason to wait.
However, another scientist argues that the gray-tailed and orange-tailed weasels are likely one species, the little weasel (Mustela minimus). Or, since the orange creature seems to eat anything that even remotely resembles food if you leave it unguarded for a few seconds, that perhaps it is not a weasel at all but an unusually cute species of goat (Oreamnos terribulus).