Monday, February 7, 2011
A Death and a Chase
Next thing, a rabbit came straight down the path to the house, in the middle of the day. I noticed him, because usually the rabbits stay hid in the brush of the tree row during the day. And, this one seemed to be in a hurry.
When I was back at the loom again, well, actually at the window near the loom, trying to get a count of all the cardinals perched in the tree above the bird feeder (16 was the most I counted, but they kept moving. so I'm not sure) here came the same rabbit. Bounding over the deeply snowed bank on the other side of the creek, it crossed a rough row of snow covered creek rocks, and then came up the path behind the store.
The rabbit didn't even glance at the black sunflower seeds scattered on the ground around the feeder, but hurried by in determined haste. I took another count of the red birds, mainly because they were such a treat to look at in all the snow, plump and red, perched, like fruits on the gray branches.
What's this? Something moving, gray and slinky at the top of the hill across the creek, just where the rabbit came down through the snow, making its own trail. It's the weasel! The same from last summer that wouldn't let me cross the bridge to the house? Or an associate? The gray furred weasel undulated, body surfing through the snow, more than it used its legs, which were not long. And it was fast, following the rabbit's trail as far as the creek stones, then doubling back. It was back at the top of the bank, in a moment, in one gliding, cursive stroke.
The weasel looked small, only about 2/3 the rabbit's size, but was definitely in pursuit. Back to the rocks, the weasel streaked across, not getting wet, though weasels are aquatic. Soon he was up by the bird feeder, hesitating going first to the west, then toward me at the window, then going around the east side of my building. The rabbit had gone west, but was only a few minutes ahead. The weasel's gray, fine fur looked so soft and silky, and its face sleek and beautiful. But, oh my, what a mouth full of teeth are in that head! I thought weasels turned white in winter, but not this one.
I took my camera and sneaked out the front door hoping to see more, but there was just a shadow of
a gray tail (?) sliding under the gas pig in the side yard. I had disrupted the chase, but my feeling is that the weasel still had the advantage. Another unresolved story, with life and death consequences, unfolding outside my window.