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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I've Seen the Tracks...Now Here Are the River Otters!

I was starting to think that otters are invisible...I've seen tracks on the sand bar near Index, on Osprey Swamp at the school land, and at several of the interesting places I've gone on field trips...but no otters. Then, the day before Thanksgiving, I needed to get my oil changed. I dropped my vehicle off at the garage and walked up hill to the trail at McCormick Park. I thought I'd walk a while until they called me to come get my car.

Five hours later, I got the call...still, I felt like I'd had a great day, and I would not have seen this pair if it had only taken the hour I expected. The River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is a member of the mustelidae family. They are both playful and wicked carnivores - kind of like me!

This pair seemed to enjoy looking at me as much as I enjoyed watching them...they hung around for about 20 minutes while I shot pictures until my camera battery ran down. I'm really glad that I got to see these beautiful animals - the trail is just 2 blocks from Highway 203, and the trail is used by walkers (with or without dogs), bikers, and the occassional horseback rider. Who would guess that otters would live so close to such an active trail?

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My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books

  • Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
  • Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
  • Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
  • Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
  • Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries

My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books

  • "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
  • Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
  • "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
  • Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
  • Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
  • Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
  • Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"