Signal Mtn

Ermin

A Real Mouthful
© Lisa Culpepper

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SEASONS

Like most wildlife, the coat on weasels looks the best in winter or spring . The ermine is simply a short tailed weasel in its white winter coat. As such you can only take the classic white ermine photo in winter.

The head and body length can range from 7 - 13 inches and the tail can grow up to 5 inches. The males are much longer than the females. In the spring and summer the ermine's coat is chocolate brown with a white underbelly and a black tip on the tail. In the winter the coat turns entirely white except for the black end of its tail. These little fellows eat rodents and other small mammals.

 

TIMES

 

As is the case with most wildlife, ermines are most active in early morning or late afternoon. Although they are fairly common, they blend into the winter snowscape well and are hard to find. This fellow was photographed just north of Firehole Lake drive with lunch in hand. Lisa Culpepper is a Yellowstone photo guide and sees one of these little guys about once a week at best. So, if your lucky enough to spot one, consider yourself very fortunate. Look for little dumb bell shaped tracks in the snow which show ermine activity in the area. See example here.

LENS & FILTERS

LENS: 100-400mm focal length for crop sensor or full frame camera.

FILMS

Slide films: Fuji Provia 400X

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