A Disturbance in the Wetlands

Top Photo: Ripples in the water. Near the end of the day, two museum visitors coming up from the wetlands in Explore the Wild stopped me to ask a question, “Are there otters in the wetlands?” Apparently, they’d seen something that “looked very much like an otter.” I thought perhaps they’d seen a mink. I’ve seen mink fairly often down in the wetlands. But when our guests mentioned there were two of them, a picture of frolicking otters flashed acrossRead more

A Good Day

Top Photo: American mink on floating deck (photo-Ranger Dakota). Mink are elusive, frenetic, always on the move. Though I’m not sure how intentional their elusivity is. They simply go about their business quickly and quietly, keyword, quietly. In my encounters with the chocolate brown mustelids I’ve always been completely ignored by the weasel, until, that is, I paid too much attention to the animal. In those cases where I’d tried to get close up photos, or otherwise followed too closelyRead more

Ducklings in the Wetlands

Top Photo: Mallard duck with two of her six ducklings. Ranger Molly informed me she saw a mallard duck and six ducklings in our wetlands over the weekend. On my next trip into the wetlands, I spotted the family in the swamp across from the Main Wetlands Overlook. A pair of mallards had been hanging around the wetlands the entire spring, had disappeared for a while early on, but had returned. Sometime later in the season they had again goneRead more


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 theRead more

A Weasel in Our Midst

This past Saturday, I was standing at the northwest corner of the Wetlands gazing out through the shrubs, trees, and grass between the edge of the water and myself. Something moved in the brush, a mammal. It was deep, dark brown in color. At first I thought it a muskrat. I’ve seen muskrat in the Wetlands before, rarely, but muskrat was the safest bet for a small dark mammal plying the Wetlands during daylight. As it moved closer I realized it wasRead more