2023—Pop Goes the Weasel

There’s no cobbler’s bench but the weasel popped up in the snow in Yellowstone yesterday to look at the gaggle of photographers drawn to an area behind the service station just outside Canyon Village to photograph it. Several Pine Martens, members of the weasel family, frequent the area partly because of the large trash bin there. They have become quite a winter attraction for the snow coaches with groups of the park’s winter visitors including fellow photographers. These feisty critters are drawn to the trash bin that provides protection and who knows what else (it is topped with almost two feet of snow now so it hasn’t been emptied for some time) but they also scurry up and down the surrounding pine trees and peer out devising their strategy to get from the tree to the trash bin while under intense observation. While we were there, three different groups of photographers, at least 18 including us, were lined up along the snowy trail that passes the trash bin and the park employee residence behind it. Fortunately, all of the photographers on this day were mostly quiet and respectful, unlike the day before when one woman pounded on the trash bin in a misguided and appalling effort to get the Pine Martens inside to emerge. While they appear cute and adorable, Pine Martens are actually quite vicious and their primary diet is squirrels and voles.