Aug 172013

I took the opportunity to hike to Devil’s Thumb last Thursday. (No, not the Devil’s Thumb in Boulder that everyone seems to think about, but the one at the Continental Divide above Hessie Trail near Nederland.)

First … oh my gosh, what a gorgeous trail! Open, nicely maintained, awesome variety, great scenery, wonderful wildlife and a spectacular destination. Well worth the 13+ mile round trip, and the aching afterwards.

Second … I am a fan of weasels. I’ve not had much experience with them, but each encounter has been special & I admire their tenacity as a deadly hunter. My encounters have been at altitude, mainly where the Weasel seemed to be hunting Pika.

This little guy was hunting at dawn, many miles back in the Colorado backcountry. The weasel had prey in it’s mouth and was in it’s white winter coat. It hopped across the snow and disappeared into a hole in front of me. Not a great photo, but an wonderful memory.

White weasel in the deep snow of the mountain backcountry.

Weasel in the deep snow of the backcountry.

On this hike recent I came upon a talus/scree field about halfway up the trail and saw what I imagined for a moment to be a baby weasel, it seemed so small. This is what I saw:

Again, not great photos … but I photograph more for later identification and memories with no aspiration to art. These photos don’t convey the critter bouncing around the rocks, but it is because of that incessant movement that I am grateful I even captured these. That and it was very early light.

I felt spoiled by this encounter, so am failing to mention the full pleasure of the many Pika and Yellow-bellied Marmots, the Mule Deer and the Coyote that I met on the trail, or the baby Red Foxes at the bottom. Wonderful wonderful hike.