[vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” video=”” css_animation=”” box_shadow_on_row=”no”][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”51630″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” eltd_css_animation=”element_from_fade” transition_delay=”1.0″][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]One of the great enjoyments of living in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region is the wealth of wildlife that we are still privileged to encounter as we venture into outdoors. Colorado is full of possibilities for wildlife sightings all year round and our staff routinely comes back from the field work with images and stories about these sightings. Recently Darrin Masters, our Wildlife Biologist, spotted this curious weasel peeking out from a sheltering rock pile while Darrin was hiking.
Darrin gives us a quick summary of information about this species: short-tailed weasel, sometimes called ermine.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][no_blockquote text=”“This short-tailed weasel or ermine (Mustela erminea) was photographed by SMITH staff at about 11,000 ft in elevation in the Maroon Bells Wilderness near Aspen, Colorado. The short-tailed weasel is one of three “true” weasels that occur in North America; the two others being the long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata) and the least weasel (Mustela nivalis). Short-tailed weasels range mostly throughout the northern tundra and boreal forests of Canada and Alaska. Their range also extends into the contiguous U.S. through the Pacific Northwest and down into Colorado, though their range is restricted mostly to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. All three species look very similar; brown above and white to cream-colored below and they all turn white in the winter.”” show_border=”yes” show_quote_icon=”yes”][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]While most of us don’t commonly encounter short-tailed weasel in our day to day activities their presence in the Rocky Mountains is something we don’t take for granted. Species like this and so many others deserve our appreciation and respectful acknowledgment. It is a joy to see them every time!