In September of 2015, I spotted a dark pelaged mammal running along the muddy wooded edge of the Wetlands. Too dark and slim for a muskrat, the only thing it could be was a mink.
Camera ready, I followed the creature through the dense vegetation but couldn’t get a clear shot of the animal. In anticipation of its intended route I ran ahead to a path that leads to the water hoping to get a shot as the animal passed the clearing. The mink surprised me and came into view just ten feet away from me, looking directly at me.
If I moved to raise the camera it would bolt. If I stayed frozen in position I wouldn’t get a picture. I stood and watched the animal until it realized that I was not a tree but something that could potentially do it harm and quickly turned and hightailed it. No pictures.
Friday, July 28, 2017, I was on the Wetlands Overlook when I saw a disturbance in the water to the south. Something dark and slender was swimming in the water inspecting the shore of the small island that sits a dozen feet or so from the platform where I stood. I was fairly confident it was a mink.
When it swam out into open water, swimming north, I was sure it was a mink. I also had my camera ready to go, click! click! click!
The mink swam towards a great blue heron feather floating in the water, then towards the north shore of the Wetlands.
I circled around, thinking the mink was planning to go ashore in the trees and shrubs on the north bank. I could see movement in the brush but couldn’t get a clear shot. I soon lost sight of the mink. It seemed to be making the rounds, making the circuit around the wetlands foraging as it went. It was now probably on the far side of the wetlands completing the circuit.
I always consider myself lucky at spotting a mink. It’s usually a quick glimpse. They’re frenetic little creatures and don’t stay in one place long.
A lucky day.