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Kennekuk day, with otters! - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
October 13th, 2007
05:00 pm


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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.)

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(8 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 13th, 2007 11:06 pm (UTC)

It was very cool

They were in fine form, very informative and responsive to the audience. They expained their model in detail (too long to go into here) showed how it was a special case in some ways and gave advice to newbies who are thinking about putting things on the web.

There are a number of things that they said that apply directly to my plans to publish next year, particularly the freedom from some editor telling me what the public (i.e. they) will like.

Afterwards, I told them that Allie was a spark and dressed up as Agatha for last Halloween. Phil said that every spark needed a Jaeger, so her drew her one that I will surprise her with on Monday.

You would have enjoyed it. There was a fangirl there, though, who was borderline "oh my god, call security" scary. Wouldn't stop talking in a high-pitched rambling voice all the while the pair of them were in the lobby afterwards.

Their big secret to being a success on the Web? (I plan on putting this above my computer in the ManCave so that I can see it while I am working:)


[User Picture]
Date:October 13th, 2007 11:17 pm (UTC)

Re: It was very cool

It sounds like I did miss something worthwhile. I did try to arrange my day so I could make it, but it didn't work out (and I wouldn't have chosen to miss the otters). If they don't have the content of their presentation on the web, you'll have to tell me about it.
[User Picture]
Date:October 14th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)


what a GREAT picture!

some towhees migrate to the western and southwestern US, but not all; ours stay and IIRC western washington towhees stay as well, probably because it just doesn't get as cold along the pacific coast. oh, wait, you probably don't have western towhees anyway, do you? i think eastern towhees mostly migrate south, but i am by far not certain of that. even if they don't migrate, they flock in winter; we always have a bunch at the feeder. the flocks can be very large, i've counted more than 120 birds a couple times.
[User Picture]
Date:October 14th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
What a fantastic picture! They do look like they are approving your clean up efforts!
Either that or they want your sandwich.
[User Picture]
Date:October 14th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
That picture is otter this world.

uh, so to speak.
[User Picture]
Date:October 15th, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
Very cool otters.
[User Picture]
Date:October 16th, 2007 09:34 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOLLY I picked a good day to check in and say "hey" because that picture is AWESOME and I love otters...as do several others in my family. You and your camera ROCK! Will check in again later...must now get back to work.

YAY YOU that picture is WONDERFUL!
[User Picture]
Date:October 18th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
(catching up on flist reading...)

SQUEEE! Otters!

They're so cute. Nice shot!
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