16 August 2010

Pine Marten, Adirondacks

Posted by Callan Bentley

Hello everyone,

I’m back in my office after 7 weeks away. I had some great travels this summer, to Turkey, Montana, and New England… and great geological photos to share from each of those locations. I’m going to start off with something non-geological, though: something furry and alive!

Pine Marten

That, my friends, is a pine marten, a smaller relative of the fisher (“fisher cat,” in the local parlance) and a member of the Mustellidae, the weasel family of mammals. They are a vital part of the northern forest ecosystem, but rarely seen. This was the first time I have ever seen one in the wild: Lily and I were camping at Round Pond in the Adirondacks (near Keene Valley, New York), and this fellow was snuffling his way up the tree. When I called Lily over to see him, he froze, hunkered down, and stared at us for more than an hour. Sometime later, I looked back, and he was gone. For me, this was a great encounter… it was one of the few North American critters I haven’t yet encountered in the wild, and it was a pleasure to share the camp with it for a while.

I’ll be posting more regularly (and not just iPhone-uploaded photos) in the weeks to come. It’s good to be back.