Today when Jonathan and I got to work, I happened to notice a small, furry animal just outside the parking garage. My first thought was that it was a ferret, but I knew that was wrong. As soon as we were parked, I asked Jonathan to take my laptop upstairs to the office while I went in search of this critter.

He was still there, but he was fast. I was fiddling with the camera trying to get the setting right as he dashed in and out of the shadows. Twice he went into the stairwell – a dead end. The first time he did this, he quickly slipped past me. I followed at a distance, still fiddling with exposure times and f-stops. Then he returned to the stairwell again. This time I blocked his exit while I took several shots.

None of them did this creature justice, and I am most definitely not happy with any of them. I guess that’s what makes flower photography so comparatively easy. Sure, they are oft times buffeted by the wind, but they can’t run away!

Believe it or not, I was able to recall a semblance of the Latin name before I knew the common name. Ferret? Ermine? I thought “Neovision vision”, but Google told me “Neovison vison”. Or as most people would say, American Mink.

Update: What a dope I am! This is not Neovison vison at all, but rather, a stoat, aka ermine, aka Mustela erminea. A stoat has a white underbelly and a black-tipped tail. A mink does not.

Here are my awful shots:

Can't get out this way!

Can't get out this way!


Maybe I can slip by again!

Maybe I can slip by again!


But he won't let me!

But he won't let me!


I'll try the back way!

I'll try the back way!


Hah!  Freedom is mine!

Hah! Freedom is mine!


I didn’t keep him hemmed in for more than a minute. But now I wonder how he made out after I left.

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