Phil Parker (tigertoy) wrote,
Phil Parker

Kennekuk day, with otters!

There was this lecture by Phil & Kaja that I thought I'd like to get to, so I made a plan to get up early and I made a sandwich to take with me last night so I wouldn't need to stop and eat.  Unfortunately, while I got up on time and wasn't too late leaving, I managed to space out, get on I-74, and drive through Danville rather than heading to Kennekuk (apparently my subconscious thought I should go to EFRC instead), and it as a bit after 9 AM when I got there.  Between that and a minor bit of bad driving judgment, I was in a bad mood when I arrived, and I felt tired and sore and thought I might not make it around the lake, but I made myself get started, and I started feeling better as I walked.

I was carrying a lunch and more camera equipment than usual (I had the 500mm lens on the camera, but I wasn't sure I'd want to carry it around my neck the whole day, so I had the case and the 17-85 lens), so I had my big backpack.  I'd stopped at a little bridge over an arm of the lake to take off my heavy shirt, rest a bit, and take a few pictures of birds when I heard a jogger approaching.  Just to make my day extra-surreal, it was my boss!

There were lots of birds around.  Either the warblers and the white-throated sparrows were shadowing me all day, or there are many hundreds of both species in the park.  I also encountered something I didn't know existed: a flock of towhees.  Well, a group, at least, about 6 of them.  Do towhees migrate?

The real high point of the day, though, was about halfway around the lake.  There's a short detour off the path that goes to a little arm of the lake where there are a couple of plastic chairs, and I went there to eat my lunch.  Other people using this area are jerks, leaving litter around, so I was picking some of it up and putting it in my lunch bag, when some critters swam up.  At first I thought they were muskrats, but when I looked closer I realized that they were otters!  Being otters, they were insanely cute, and they made funny noises too.  If I believed in such things, I would take it as a clear sign that I was doing the right thing to clean up the trash.  After a moment, I recovered from the shock and picked up the camera, and I actually got off my duff and pulled the memory card from my camera, so here behind the cut is a picture.

ETA: oops, I hit post before I mentioned that by the time I got back to the car, it was too late for me to actually get to the beginning of the lecture, plus my back was really sweaty from wearing the backpack and I figured it would be pretty rude for me to come in late and smelly. So I hope ya'll enjoyed it. (If I hadn't wasted 20 minutes driving to the other side of Danville and back, I could've made it. Argh.)
Tags: life, nature, pictures
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