Lake Tahoe, California

This year the accumulation of snow in the Sierra Nevada is the smallest in written history. Yesterday I went to Lake Tahoe, expecting weasels and snowshoe hares to be easy to find. The lakeshores were almost snow-free. I didn’t see any hares or hare tracks (they’ve probably all been eaten by now), but eventually found an ermine at dusk along Rainbow Trail (accessible from Taylor Creek Visitor Center off Hwy 89). It was very shy and disappeared when I was still about 70 m away. Mountain pocket gophers are very active in meadows and lawns around South Lake Tahoe, and, surprisingly, Allen’s chipmunks are not hibernating (saw one at Angora Ridge Rd. turnoff). There is some snowfall in the forecast, but I am sure March and early April will also be good for weasels.

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