Otters at Play …

This morning 4 otters were playing in the river about 200 feet up stream from my house. They would climb up on this big log and push each other off into the river. They would wrestle and dunk each other in the water too. Once one got out of the water walked up the bank and slid back down into the river. I got to watch them for 20 minutes, what Fun 🙂 Even a mink swam out to a snag in the river and sat there for a minute. I think it left when it caught sight of the otters across the shore. I shared my binoculars with a woman who was walking by she thanked me for my kindness.

A poor man, and I mean that literally, that lives in a trailer nearby was walking his dog and asked me what I was looking at. I told him and he said that he didn’t even know otters live here … and he has lived along the river for many years. He then asked if I had seen the big bird. Someone had told him that they had seen a Great Blue Heron once. I told him that the Heron had flown up the river just a few minutes ago. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that there are Heron all along the river in both directions.

I went down to my favorite spot on the river and sat in the morning sun for about 20 minutes. The mink didn’t show but the peace that comes from sitting there sure did.

A male Northern Flicker flew up onto a telephone pole by the baseball field and showed off in the sunshine … Beautiful.

Walking home I saw a female Goldfinch drinking from the river and a little sandpiper hopping from rock to rock.

Thank you Lord for an Incredible morning walk.

 

Even the Homeless Like Ospreys …

Last night just before sunset I walked west along the river walk about a mile … I like to do this because the Osprey tend to hang out at that end of the river at the end of the day. I then get to enjoy them as they fly back to their nest and/or perch for the night.

I was watching the beautiful male Osprey with my binoculars when a homeless man that I had seen earlier came and sat on the bench that was nearby and began to read his paper. I said to myself “how bad can he be, he’s reading the newspaper” so I walked over to him and asked him if he would like to see an Osprey. He asked me what an Osprey was so I told him. He said sure so we walked over to where he could see it. I pointed to the bird and showed him how to use the binoculars. When he saw the giant bird in the binoculars he got so excited. He told me that he didn’t even know that such a bird existed.

I told him all about Osprey and he thanked me several times.
One person at a time … I am going to teach people about what lives around us 🙂

Litter and a few of Life’s Lessons …

It was a quite walk on the river this morning, didn’t see anything as I walked to the cove to get a glimpse of the mink.  I sat for half an hour and still nothing. My five day string of sitings going for six had now ended. I was a little sad, I wanted to see them, to watch them play in the river and hunt for fish. It was not meant to be today.

As I sat quietly on the boulder I looked at the signs that “man” had been in the area. I saw a plastic bag drifting by in the breeze so I grabbed it and began walking around and picking up garbage. 32oz drink cups, beer cans, glass, cigarette packs and butts, juice containers, straws, a popped and unusable inner tube, a pair of Fruit of the Loom underwear … that one got my mind wondering !?!? 

I honestly don’t understand how a person can stand on the bank of a beautiful pristine river and make the decision to throw their garbage into or around it. I just don’t get it.

I was walking with my dad along a small town street when I was 6 years old. He gave me a piece of gum, I opened it put the gum in my mouth and carelessly threw the wrapper to the ground. Dad stopped looked down at the wrapper and kindly told me to pick it up. I asked why? and said to him “It’s just a gum wrapper”. He gently said to me “Look around you, see all of these people walking down the street. If everyone threw a wrapper down onto the sidewalk, what would it look like then?”

He didn’t scold me, he didn’t punish me. The image of what that sidewalk would look like has always stuck with me. I have never littered again.

Growing up, I spent many many hours outdoors with my dad. He taught me so much about life and the importance of living with nature and not taking advantage of it. Another lesson that he taught me was to always leave the place that you are visiting just a little better than when you arrived.

As I walked away from the river carrying the garbage with me I said aloud “I hope that I made you proud today dad”.

Breakfast … Otter … and Smoke

Five consecutive days of watching the mink. This morning I watched the smaller brown one playing among the rocks and boulders and diving into the river. On his last dive he came out with 6 inch fish, unlike yesterdays 2 inch ones. It turned over onto it’s back and carried the fish in it’s hands as it swam backwards towards the cove.

Further down the river I got a glimpse of an otter as it dove under the water near it’s den … a pair of Cedar Waxwings were insect hunting over the river below. A pair of Northern Flickers were sitting on a corral fence nearby.

I can smell smoke in the air today from the nearby wildfires …