|September 3, 4:39AM -- in the showtl's underworld|
We are just back from the north fork of the Yuba River.
Yesterday, the Codger, the Redhead, Audrey, and Fred pulled the last three camera traps, and I am terribly amped.
The picture above is one of the reasons.
You may recall that the codger was uncertain that "Herman the Ermine" was correctly identified in a recent "underworld post".
A few commentors thought the suspect was an American mink.
The unmistakable ermine pictured above confirms that the previous mustelid was indeed Slinky the Minkie.
This ermine was photographed in the same Aplodontia (=showtl) tunnel where the mink made its appearance last month.
To get an idea of the relative sizes of this little predator and its prey, compare the two pictures, which I have cropped more or less to the same size.
Like the mink, the ermine evidently failed to find the showtl, which showed up 6 days later.
Its absence makes you wonder if predator detection changed the rodent's use of the tunnel system.
Anyway, we're not done yet.
We staked out several Aplodontia burrows for camera trapping next year.
Our winter work is cut out for us. We've got to get faster cameras so we can diminish the number of false exposures down there in the showtl's underworld.
There's a lot of traffic and probably a few visitors that are just too fast for our cameras.
And to give you a bigger view of the showtl's busy underworld, here's an uncropped photo.