Fisher Run

Winding up a run in the sodden, glistening Arb this afternoon, I was heading back toward campus along the river trail when I saw a cat-sized brown animal dart across the path ahead of me and up a dead tree. “Weird  – a raccoon out at noon?”

I slowed down to look up at the animal, but then stopped when I saw that it had no mask. The little beastie nestled into a vee of two branches and peered down at me with a frank black-eyed look, clearly wishing I’d move along. I walked a couple steps to get a different angle. The creature had a wide, furry body and a long fuzzy tail – the size and shape of a raccoon, but a solid dark brown or black, rather than the grays and light browns of a raccoon. “Weird – a mink? a weasel?” I jogged off to let the whatever-it-was get back to whatever it was doing.

I wondered about the animal all day. When the girls went to bed, I paged therough my Mammals of Minnesota field guide and the Minnesota DNR’s excellent online guide and figured that – based on size, coloration, and the funny look of its eyes – it was a fisher, one of the rarest mammals in Minnesota, and much more common up north.


8 thoughts on “Fisher Run”

  1. We’ve got one of those that runs around near my house in MA. It stood by a tree and watched us unload groceries once…kind of unnerving.

  2. I can’t see the photo but it sounds like a great experience. Always enjoy your blog entries and the photos. Your daughters are so cute!

  3. Cool!
    Remember that line we found in the website about animals in the arb – some being listed as “unverified” or mythical or some such language? Can’t find it now.

  4. Mnmom, the list of animals is the one Penny links above, but the fisher isn’t on there. Yet! I’m talking to people…

  5. So cool! For a minute I thought that was your photo. Did you not have your camera with you? It seems like you always do. The MN Conservation Volunteer Mag just had a cover story about fishers.

  6. I live in Indiana and i saw this animal and thought wow what is that ive been living in the same area my whole live and never seen this before so i google short furry mammal and looked till i found what it was and every one i showed a picture of one the only thind they could think is what is that !

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