Smooth operator.

 

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Una di queste sere di mezza estate in cui non si decide mai a fare un po’ di buio,  in cui non si ha voglia di andare a dormire,  ma nemmeno di poltrire davanti alla tv,  Risto e io siamo usciti a caccia ( fotografica!) in macchina verso le 23.00;  volevamo fare il giro del lago di Hirsjärvi,  che in totale sono una trentina di chilometri e vedere se incontriamo qualche animale notturno.  Infatti:  eccolo!  Appena svoltato il vialetto di casa ci ha attraversato la strada una…Martora!  (Voglio ricordare che noi abitiamo lungo una strada secondaria che attraversa foreste e campi).

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La martora e’ un animale estremamente cauto,  difficile da vedere,  silenzioso;  e’ carnivoro e preda di tutto:  topolini,  piccoli uccellini,  scoiattoli e persino giovani leprotti.  La martora e’ grande circa tre volte uno scoiattolo,  si riconosce dal colore marron-grigiastro e dalla visibilissima macchia bianca sulla gola;  ha denti aguzzi e tenaci unghioli per arrampicarsi sugli alberi;  un’altra sua caratteristica vincente e’ la velocita’:  si muove disinvoltamente nel sottobosco senza farsi scoprire.  Prima dell’invenzione della plastica,  delle microfibre e dell’abbigliamento tecnico,  la martora e’ stata cacciata abbondantemente per la sua pelliccia. E’ presente in tutta l’Eurasia.

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(Inutile dire che le foto di questo post sono prese dalla rete:  ci vogliono appostamenti ed equipaggiamento adeguati per riprendere questo animale!)

Il titolo del post e’ proprio la incantevole canzone di Sade:  anche la’ si parla di un predatore…  😉  Se non la ricordate,  potete ascoltarla cliccando QUI.

Smooth operator.         One of these midsummer nights without any darkness,  when you do not feel like going to sleep nor rest in front of the tv,  Risto and I started off a photo-hunting party by car at 11.00 p.m.  Our intention was to drive for about 30 km along Hirsjärvi lake to try to meet some night animal.  We did not drive long:  just outside our house a Pine marten crossed the road in front of our car!  (I would like to remind my readers that we live in an area of forest and fields:  it is amazing how many animals we can meet sometimes!)

The marten is a clever predator:  silent and fast,  it can move extremely quickly and smoothly in the undergrowth,  in the woodlands,  but it can as well climb trees.  It has sharp teeth and nails:  it will prey small rodents,  little birds,  even squirrels and small hares but you will rarely see it.  It is around three times bigger than a squirrel,  its colour is brownish-grey  with a clear white spot on the throat.  Before plastic and microfibre were invented,  before technical sports clothing,  martens were hunted for their furs.  They are widespread in all Eurasia.

(Needless to say that the photos in this post all come from the net;  it takes skill,  equipment and patience to film this animal!)

The title of the post is an enchanting Sade’s song,  where the subject is also a predator… 😉  If you want,  you can listen to it by clicking HERE.

 

 

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Linked to:  Saturday+s Critters.  All Seasons.


26 thoughts on “Smooth operator.

  1. Would like to see this predator live! Last winter I saw in my garden a very quick white animal. It was lumikko – Mustela nivalis. Marten & Mustela are much alike, both white in the winter. The Marten’s tail is longer.

    I didn’t get photos either 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is amazing to think that animals are always with us, though unseen, when we wander in the nature…I would like to see a Lumikko one day! Happy (rainy?) weekend, Riitta!

    Like

  3. Don’t know if I have ever seen a marten. Since it’s dark, it would be easily mistaken probably for a fox, or small dog? Anyways, great to find this one with beautiful fur in the night! Many thanks for sharing this intelligent night animal with All Seasons!

    Liked by 1 person

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