Posted by: Kiersten | July 3, 2010

Animal News

I have not found the USB cord to my camera.  While lamenting this loss to my father, he said “Well just put the card directly into the computer.  It has a port.”

I smacked my forehead and then gave it a try.  The card didn’t fit.  I guess my $5 church bizarre camera uses obsolete cards.  Oh well, it was a good idea.  I hope I can find a replacement camera cord that will work… the cord for our two other digital cameras doesn’t work with it.

So still  no pictures yet folks, sorry.

In animal news:

The deer have eaten my marigold flowers.  They lasted a week before someone came along in the night and munched all the flowers off the plants.  The only plants that are doing well are the ones I transplanted from the vacant lot beside ours: wild foxglove, columbine, ferns.  The lavender seems to be fine too.

I think we live in the middle of a deer highway.  I see them almost every day when I take the dogs out in the morning or at night, before bed.  Often they’re just a few feet outside our front door.  Sunshine, our white cat, seems to enjoy them.  She’ll sit on the front deck and they’ll look at each other for a half an hour, as though they’re having a conversation.  I wonder what they have to say to each other.

We’re also in the middle of an otter highway.  There are river otters living in the harbour to the right of our house, and they have a slide that goes from the top of our driveway, past our front step, through the grass on the lot next door and down to the water.  A couple of weeks ago as I sat on my front porch, admiring the marigolds I’d just planted, I herd a rustle and watched a large, speckled otter poke her head out of the bushes five feet in front of me.  She fixed her eyes on Bonus and froze.  Bonus spotted her and howled a noise I’ve never heard him make before.  Must be his papillion/poodle hunting roots shining through.  The otter clearly said to herself “Screw that” and slithered, snakelike, back down her slide to the water.

I saw a different otter twice as I came home from work.  That one is a darker brown with a large gash down his side, possibly from an encounter with one of the nearby California sea lions.  He seems to be healing up just fine, and was hardly limping last time I saw him.  That one seems to like to cross the street a lot, while the lighter speckled otter I have not seen anywhere other than the slide by our front door.

The sea lions, whose songs have kept us company all winter, have abandoned the harbour for the summer.  The locals joke that they leave when the tourists arrive, and return in the fall, when the crowds are gone.  I’m surprised that they leave at all, since the fish plant is very active in the summer and the fisher-tourists give them plenty of handouts.  I watched one small yacht float just off our dock for a half hour, the adults giving their children fish to toss to the sea lions.  One large male came shooting up out of the water, trying to snatch a fish out of the kid’s hand – a trick the sea lions have no doubt learned from other tourists.  This scared the crap out of the parents, who proceeded to shout and shake their fingers AT THE SEA LIONS!  Idiots!

Last week as I was talking to my parents on the phone, I saw a dolphin leap out of the water about fifty feet away.  It was large and black, with a tall, curved dorsal fin – so large I thought for a moment it was an orca.  The second time I saw him jump I realized he was travelling up the inlet, leaping out of the water in tight arcs, a move I remember from countless discovery channel documentaries and a few childhood visits to Marine Land.  We watched him arc out of the water, all muscle and grace and power.  Then we watched a half dozen kayakers digging their paddles in a furious effort to follow him.

I haven’t figured out what kind of dolphin it is yet.  It is too large and it’s dorsal fin too pronounced to be a porpoise.  I don’t know of any whale that can leap out of the water in the tight, perfect arcs of a dolphin.  It’s dark colour may have been a back-lit grey, maybe it was a bottlenose dolphin that looked black in it’s own shadow.  But it was a bright day and close to noon, and I was on the south-west side of him.  There shouldn’t be any back-lighting or shadows.  Any ideas anyone?

The eagles’ chicks have returned for the fishing.  We routinely count six of them roosting like fat, giant chickens in the trees surrounding our house.  Fred & Ethel, the mated pair that live here year-round, tolerate their back-from-school chicks but will chase them off of their favourite tree, which is  the tallest dead tree in the area.  Last week, when we had a couple of friends over, we counted sixteen eagles.  We sat on the balcony drinking wine and watching the eagles pluck fish out of the water.  Yesterday, I found a large half eaten fish, randomly in the middle of the road.  A few crows were greedily digging in.  I guess an eagle must’ve dropped her catch.

Soon, I hear the eagles will follow the salmon migration up the rivers and into the interior, abandoning us too.  I guess we’ll just have to watch the tourists for entertainment.

For now, the local fishermen are hauling in the salmon from the open ocean.  Our neighbour shared his catch with us on Thursday, which happened to be Kat & I’s anniversary.  We celebrated by taking the fresh-caught-that-morning chinook salmon to the beach, along with some salad and pesto made with ingredients from our balcony garden, and a bottle of wine from the year we got together.  We seared the salmon in a cast iron pan over the open fire.  The pink flakes melted in my mouth.  The wine went down quite nicely.  The pesto was the best-o, there is nothing like fresh basil.  The cloud cover made a spectacular sunset of russet orange and pale pink.

The weather has been warm and sunny enough to be out in t-shirts, but the cool breeze keeps me in jeans.  That’s fine by me.  In Ontario, I’d be hiding in air conditioning by now.



  1. Your next move is to get a 42 or 52 to USB Card reader. These device will accept a multitude of cards and allow you to transfer the info into your computer via the usb port of your computer. These device only cost a few dollars more than your dedicated USB cable for your model of camera.

    Happy Hunting or I can get one for you and ship it on.

    We all enjoy your writing!!!

    • My computer-talented friend is helping me put together something for the business, and he’s going to have a look at the camera. If he doesn’t have an easy solution, I’ll just order one from you 🙂 Thanks – is this Uncle Ralph or Dad? I just see the BMC on the email.

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