240px-Fisher_(animal) Lizzie: I had no idea fairies were responsible for changing the seasons. I thought it had something to do with the earth’s axis as it rotated around the sun.
Tinker Bell: That’s what we wanted you to think.

As we fully turn the page toward Christmas, I wonder what our lives would be like if adults believed in Santa Claus!  Think about it…in addition to assisting our children or grand-children with providing milk and cookies for St. Nick, we would be as giddy in anticipation as they are.  In our excitement, we too might haul our blankets and pillow by the fireplace.  We would yearn, hope, pray for even a glimpse of the jolly man in red.  For folks living alone, Christmas Eve would be a momentous annual event.

I find it utterly suprising that we still have this one great “myth” remaining with us, despite our increasingly doubting, and less and less faith based society.  Give me the movie Miracle on 34th. St. to watch any day!

Sometimes myth and reality also fuse in the natural world, and close to home.  Last year, I started receiving odd phone calls from a number of sane and reliable people living up the road in the “High Prairie” area.  All the messages were the same:  “We’ve been seeing this unusual animal up here and the only creature it could be is a fisher.”

Now, Bigfoot would be common than a fisher, which has been considered extinct in Washington state for more than 40 years AND its preferred habitat is much more akin to the old growth forests on the Olympic peninsula, not the quaint oak woodlands of Lyle!

Fishers are three feet long, dark brown or black colored, and remind me of a small bear with a tail.  Foresters like fishers because their main prey are tree-munching porcupines.  This large weasel has found a way to avoid the prickly quills by flipping the porcupine over exposing its unprotected belly.

So, I had righteously poo-pooed the fisher sightings from up the road until…my next door neighbor Marc, who has a knack for identifying wild things, calls me up last week.  He had been driving home and was passing our neighbor’s home when he spied an animal trying to find a way into a garden fence (also serving as a chicken coop).  He said he got a good look at the critter and “it had to be a fisher.”

No photographs, no tracks, just the word of a trusted neighbor, folks nearby, and then oh, boy…my wife saw it at the same spot.

When I attended the theater production of Peter Pan, I remember a hushed point in the play where Tinker Bell is near death and if we audience would only believe that she could be saved by clapping our hands…she just might make it.  Like the rest of the crowd, I clapped my hands hard, and lo and behold…a fisher came alive in our woods.  ~