Did you know that you can find otters in California streams now? They got driven out of the streams in the 1800’s due to I guess lack of food via pollution or just people being around (pretty shy), and they all went to sea, where they didn’t do too well, the sea otter population got down to just a handful of critters, one breeding pair? The USGS keeps strict count of exactly how many sea otters are in California, or tries to, and have data going back to 1985, which is kind of cool www.usgs.gov/centers/werc/scie… but now these 30 lb whiskery shellfish connoisseurs are making it back into the rivers and streams, particularly around the Bay Area where groups devoted to river otter spotting are springing up to track them riverotterecology.org/otter-sp… and see how they’re doing. If you want to know what they look like, and how to tell the difference between a river otter and a muskrat and a beaver, here’s a nice set of photography to assist www.maxwaugh.com/2015/06/27/an… River otters look a lot like dogs to me, I see the face and it’s got something of the pit bull look to it, broad flat head, wide set eyes. Beavers and muskrats are rodents, but otters are weasels and they love eating fish and shellfish and crayfish, even frogs. So if you get a chance, keep an eye out for them! Reminds me of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind In the Willows, a delightful children’s book if ever there was one. My internet has been down for like three days so sorry for the short story, can’t do much research, and my post is late ‘cause I had to wait for the public library to open.
Xander’s library not pictured this week unfortunately.