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Archive for November, 2009

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This is either a long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata)  or a stoat/ermine/short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea).  The ermine has a more northerly distribution than the the long-tailed weasel, but both species do have have some overlap in their ranges.

They are easier to tell apart in the summer coat. Long-tailed weasels have a more yellow belly than the ermine does (and their tails are long and whip-like).

I have a specimen of what I believe to be a long-tailed weasel in my freezer. It was killed in Central West Virginia in late October. Its legs and belly are white, but its dorsal area and head are still dark brown.

It could be a stoat that wandered a bit to the south, but because of its more southerly location, my money is on it being a long-tailed weasel.

I think the animal in the video is a long-tailed weasel, not an ermine/stoat.

Not all populations of ermine/stoat turn white in winter, although I think all North American populations do.  Long-tailed weasels that live in the southern parts of their range don’t turn white.

The long-tails live only in the Americas, and they make it as far south as Bolivia. Somehow, I don’t think the Bolivian weasels turn white.

One thing this animal is not is a ferret.

Update: Here’s a Mustela erminea in its winter coat. I think we have a long-tailed weasel in the video.

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This is either a long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata)  or a stoat/ermine/short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea).  The ermine has a more northerly distribution than the the long-tailed weasel, but both species do have have some overlap in their ranges.

They are easier to tell apart in the summer coat. Long-tailed weasels have a more yellow belly than the ermine does (and their tails are long and whip-like).

I have a specimen of what I believe to be a long-tailed weasel in my freezer. It was killed in Central West Virginia in late October. Its legs and belly are white, but its dorsal area and head are still dark brown.

It could be a stoat that wandered a bit to the south, but because of its more southerly location, my money is on it being a long-tailed weasel.

I think the animal in the video is a long-tailed weasel, not an ermine/stoat.

Not all populations of ermine/stoat turn white in winter, although I think all North American populations do.  Long-tailed weasels that live in the southern parts of their range don’t turn white.

The long-tails live only in the Americas, and they make it as far south as Bolivia. Somehow, I don’t think the Bolivian weasels turn white.

One thing it is not is a ferret.

Update: Here’s a Mustela erminea in its winter coat. I think we have a long-tailed weasel in the video.

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My, what big teeth you have!

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Seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The photo above comes from W.E. Mason’s Dogs of All Nations.

The description goes as follows:

Color: Black, grizzle, reddish brown, either self colored or with tan, white ar white with large dark patches or brindle, with or without tan markings. White on the chest and legs is permissible, but not desirable. Height: 22 in. Weight: 55 lbs.

This is a medium sized dog [emphasis mine], rather long in the body but well built, and is very game and intelligent. The head is lean, skull broad between the ears and long leaves muzzle. The ears are of medium size, carried erect, and pointed forward. The eye are almond shaped, dark in color, full of “fire” and intelligence, but often sour. The body is rather narrow, with deep chest, straight back and strong loins. The tail well coated, carried low when the dog is quiet and gaily but not over the back whe excited. There are three varieties as to coat: A. Smooth coated. Short dense are hard, round the neck the coat is longer and harder. B. Long haired, wavy and hard the hair on the head partially covering the eyes, and with well marked beard are moustaches and tail well feathered. C. Wire haired. Straight, hard and wiry, the on the head and legs being especially short and hard with beard and eyebrows we developed.

 The description of the GSD of this time period reminds me more of the Dutch shepherd. The wire-haired and long-haired varieties described could be easily found in certain modern wire-haired Dutch shepherds.

We also know that German shepherd come in a faulty long-coat, which is more like a Tervuren’s, that also exists in Dutch shepherds.

Look closely at the photo above.

Notice how the back is not sloping.

The dog is not exaggerated in the least. It is a very moderate animal.

It is quite a bit smaller than the GSD’s one finds today, and it’s certainly smaller than the so-called “old-fashioned” German shepherds that weigh in excess of a 120 pounds.

The real old-fashioned GSD was smaller, not larger.

And if you want to see something similar to it, look at the Dutch and Belgian shepherds.

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Willie is the only Jack Russell I have known with such a pronounced retrieving instinct.

He will fetch a ball or a stuffed toy until you are tired of it.

I remember getting into a little bit of trouble when Willie was about six months old. He was wanting to play fetch really bad, and I ran him pretty hard through the mud.

 Mostly white JRT’s don’t look so nice when they covered in mud.

You can tell from this beach photo that Willie will chase even a sand-covered tennis ball until the cows come home.

Now, if only I could find another golden retriever like that…

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PETA’s plan for Uga

Not an Alapaha.

A robot!

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Dad bagged this nice 8-point white-tail buck at a little after 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day.

They didn’t get big by being stupid.

But every once in a while, one slips up.

And that’s what happened to this one.

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Thanksgiving ham was the main course. The pigs were butchered as soon as the coolness of November settled in.

Of course, the winters now are so mild that November isn’t the best month to butcher hogs.

Of course, that also assumes that people still keep pigs to fatten for their own use.

It’s now much cheaper to buy it.

Keep in mind that for centuries, the main source for red meat for most people was the hog. Hogs could be fattened on acorns  or beechmast and table scraps. 

In Medieval England, commoners were given the right to use the forest for their pigs in the Carta de Foresta. The practice of turning pigs out into the forest for forage is known as pannage.  The rights laid down in that legal document provided a modicum of economic rights into the English common law. So the reliance of English peasants on the pig as a food animal was a major cause in developing the peculiar form of constitutionalism that would provide the basis for democracy and rule of law in the Anglo-Saxon countries.

They didn’t need to have large areas of forage to feed them, as was the case with cattle. Cattle were also necessary as draft animals and milk producers, so it was not a good practice to raise such a large animal simply to eat it.

In fact, it would not be until the development of the English longhorn in the eighteenth century that people would have a specialized breed of beef cattle.

Pigs fed us through the generations. If your ancestors were from Europe and were of  the Christian faith, they most likely knew the taste of pork but never knew the taste of beef.

***

Of course, my grandpa told us that they used to eat ruffed grouse for Thanksgiving.  Having eaten that particular bird, I can say that they taste far better than either wild or domestic turkey.

Of course, I don’t think anyone has ever bred ruffed grouse in captivity. They are often quite curious  and easily-tamed birds, but their peculiar diet of buds is very hard to replicate in captivity.

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