Where the White Things Are

Loved by audiences of all ages.

08This is one of four Alaska animals to turn white in the winter. Can you see the change starting? (The neck and belly don’t count; they’re always white.)

This animal changes names along with its fur: In summer it’s a weasel; in winter it’s an ermine. Hmm. I think I’d like a seasonal name-change, please. You can call me Princess Penelope this winter.

Okay, name the other three Alaska animals that turn white in winter.

Did you note the little bugger’s feet? What does he think he is–a lab puppy? Why aren’t they called snowshoe weasels?

09Oh…so heav…y…can hardly…lift…my…foot.

Actually, these things dash around like flies on speed that are late, late, late for very important dates. We were shocked and impressed that any of these shots came out.

10Pretend he’s got a bolt painted on his side. He’s getting ready to deliver his crime-stopping super-bark.

Categories: Alaska

4 replies »

  1. This animal looks so playful and fun. Do ermine (which sounds so much more elegant weasels!) play together in groups, or are they more solitary animals?

  2. They’re mostly solitary, but they are playful–or perhaps just bonkers. We’ve seen them run and jump at walls in order to do flips. Not just one flip, but a dozen. A few days ago, I watched one roll over and over and over, as though rolling down a hill. We’ve been followed by seemingly curious weasels and martens. They run circles around us. River otters slide down hills into streams. These animals are all related (mustelids), and they’re all kind of nutty. Very fun to watch!

    We’ve seen weasels here more than elsewhere. In fact, we have one at home, but rarely catch sight of it. I think these are unfamiliar with humans and haven’t developed a fear of us. That’s fine. No one will be trapping around here.

  3. Well, Princess Penelope, the Arctic fox and hare both turn white, but if there are others it was a long time ago that I learned them. Frankly, I’ve always felt that weasels should stick with the name ermine year round. They need a better publicist.

  4. Hi Princess Penelope. Weasels do need a better publicist. Ermine is so elegant and weasel is so… well, not. The pictures are wonderful.
    The other critters that turn white, if I recall, are the ptarmigan, the arctic fox and the snowshoe hare (you provided a hint in your foot discussion.