The Mink Of Ford Road

Alert “06880” reader — and avid fisherman — David Ader writes:

I’m a recently retired, now former financial strategist, who has decided to fish until I get bored.

I’m not bored yet.

I like to fish along Ford Road because it’s convenient, beautiful, and there’s not too much garbage for me to clean up to keep the place neat.

David Ader’s favorite spot on Ford Road. Unlike many fishermen, he’s not afraid to give the location away.

For the last while, especially in the morning, I’ve fished beside a mink who keeps me company. The mink bounds along the shore, stops to stare at me in sort of an acknowledgement, and in contrast to the osprey, kingfisher and once in a while bald eagle, doesn’t compete for the trout I dutifully throw back when I catch, which is rare enough.

Today I was saddened to find this fine furry fellow squashed in the middle of Ford Road. That’s a bit gross, I admit, but there was something really lovely going on.

As I watched him from a rock near the bridge that leads to Bridgewater, I saw all the cars and trucks passing by slow down to give the mink wide berth. Some slowed to a real crawl to look at it. Others just went by, still with a sense of respect or at least curiosity.

A cyclist on a very expensive bike, wearing racing clothes, stopped and just stared by himself for a moment.

The mink, in the middle of the road. (Photos/David Ader)

I heard a story that may be apocryphal: Some years back, enviro-activists freed minks from a mink “ranch” somewhere in this county; the minks we encounter are descendants of those coats that never were.

It’s possible, though I imagine cage-raised minks couldn’t survive in the wild and that this one’s line runs back to the beginning, to Indian times surely.

A few months ago I was picking myself up from the bank, having slipped in the river under the eye of that mink, or a relative perhaps. I picked up a stone that was clearly made for some purpose by the original inhabitants.

I liked the mink for its own antics, but too like to think that he’s a holdover from Westport’s more ancient heritage.

I hope another one, or two, show up when the weather warms up.

Oh, I did catch a large rainbow trout as well.

11 responses to “The Mink Of Ford Road

  1. Jacquie Littlejohn

    Sweet, sad story. It’s really sad to see animals flattened on the roads.
    PS when you can do so safely, pull roadkill to the side of the road with a stick so other creatures who will feed on it don’t get hit, too!

  2. That is terribly sad. The other night we were driving along Hillspoint when we saw a car stopped across the road flashing their lights . As we got closer we saw that they were trying a protect a family of deer trying to jump the fence to land safely and go about their lives. Thanks to this thoughtful car of kids . Everyone Went on to have a safe night…. one young deer would definitely not make the high jumper club ….he had to find a place to squeeze through.

  3. Very sad. Here’s something hopeful: There’s a beautiful mink that patrols Deadmans Brook at Violet Lane – right in the middle of downtown. He’s quite a character.

  4. Richard Fogel

    your story hooked me. Your a very good writer. Lets drive carefully. Slow down.

  5. Mary Cookman Schmerker

    Sad but wonderful report about two of my favorite places in Westport , Ford Road and Deadman’s Brook. As kids we always had fantasies about the Red Coats, the Indians and what might have happened at Ford Road. I did not know about the minks. They would have added a layer of excitement to our imaginations.

  6. I am sorry for this mink. Thanks for this story David.

  7. Very interesting story. It’s just one of the benefits of fishing to spend enough time streamside to see and interact with the ecosystem at your feet. I spotted a dead mink on N. Compo 10 years ago and have been on the lookout since whenever I’m around water. I’ve been rewarded by seeing 12+ mink over the years including one swimming and hunting in the outflow at Burying Hill beach. We also have otters and beavers in various spots in town. There’s a lot going on and to see if you spend some watching.

  8. To add….mink are native to North America (and other places) and certainly some have escaped from fur outfits, as well.

  9. Thank you very much for this beautiful, bittersweet story.

  10. Michael Brennecke

    Had no idea these animals were around here until a couple of years ago. Saw one near the brook on Goodhill road, then one actually showed up in my yard, undoubtably after my goldfish pond. I hate seeing any critters getting nailed by cars but it does in fact work into the food chain around here. I grew up playing in the woods here, I never saw deer, wild turkeys, foxes, eagles and the hawks, vultures, coyotes, bears or wild cats. They’re all here now. It’s cool but there will be casualties.