We had an unexpected visitor recently. It came by during the mid-morning hours in the midst of a snowstorm. It moved stealthily through the snow … came and went with no warning. Had I not spotted its movement through the woods behind the house its visit might have gone unnoticed. But the movement I saw was not that of a deer, nor was it the lighter brown color of deer.
When our visitor came into full view I realized it was a fisher – Martes penanti – a member of the weasel family.
The fisher circled our house three times, following the same route through the woods out back, the driveway on one side, the front yard, the side yard, and back to the woods. It only stopped briefly in the front yard, which is when my favorite photographer caught this shot.
We have no idea what it was doing … didn’t see anything it could have been chasing. But it seemed to move with purpose and intent as it circled then gracefully wandered off to wooded parts unknown.
Later that morning I photographed some of the tracks the fisher left in the snow.
Since voles and mice are on fishers’ prey list, I hope to notice declined numbers of each during the next few months.
I’d love to see the fisher again. This is my first glimpse of one. Though fishers have a rather nasty reputation, this one moved so smoothly through the snow. It was a marvel to watch.
Anyone have any fisher experiences to share?