Yes, it was a great day in the studio. Anyhow, H photographed the ermine while I watched and ate. The ermine was not too popular with the birds. The chickadees and gray jays ganged up on it, but it was the hairy woodpecker that carried out the assault. The ermine raced around the yard, up and down the willows, attacking and being attacked, until it finally doubled back to the willow and poplar just outside the kitchen window. There it feasted on suet.
Certain this ermine was a sign, I consulted my trusty Dictionary of Symbols.
Purity and chastity -- a virtue that it personifies in art. Apart from the white fur, the link with purity was reinforced by the notion that stoats died if their white winter coats (ermine) were sullied. Ermine trimming on the robes or caps of nobles, judges or teachers has the symbolism of moral or intellectual purity.
Hm. I wonder if ermine trimming on a blog carries the same symbolism. By the way, the ermine seemed to approve of my celebratory feast.