There was a loud smack that made us look up from trying to catch the crab pot buoy. A sea lion, quite close to the boat, leaping and twisting out of the water. If a sea lion -even a smaller female like the one we saw, at around 7 feet long and 600 lbs- looks frantic, it behooves the observer to check the horizon. Sure enough, a rumble of breath and a a sharp black fin, no two, three, four fins cruised past us up the fjord, eyes up above the water line, checking us out. Killer whales. The sea lion stuck close to the boat until the whales had passed. Around here, if you want a chance to experience something amazing all you have to do is get your butt outside!
Spring on the water. Sure feels good to get out, even if it is a bit cold still. Although, who am I kidding, this is Alaska, there is no guarantee that the summer will be any warmer. Southeast Alaska, where it can hit 40 degrees on any day of the year.
A fantastic visit from my college roommate and her family. These guys look like they’ve been driving boats their whole lives! Can’t wait for the next visit.
The surf scoters are massed by the hundreds along the fjord. They stretch out into a line and then dive down starting from one end of the line until the last few disappear. The water is calm for a moment. No birds anywhere. Then they all come boiling upward in group before choreographing the entire scene again. I wish I could watch them flying and feeding underwater. It would require a dry suit and perhaps a larger measure of bravery than what I was allotted. (photo RML).
At four we find her fierce, loving, independent, courageous and loyal. She brings sunshine into the room with her.
Thursday night is my book release party at the library! My short story, “The Boto’s Child” was included in an anthology, Among Animals, published by Ashland Creek Press this year and available at Amazon, or, if you are lucky, at your neighborhood bookstore. (For my local readers, you will find it at The Babbling Book and available for loan at the library.)
"The Boto’s Child" is also available as a standalone e-book which you can download to your favorite reader for a whopping 99 cents. Follow this link to Smashwords to download your copy, if that is your preference.
As for the party… There will be bocaditos (snacks) and a short reading. The book will be available for sale, thanks to the Babbling Book, and 10% of all sales made there will go to support the library. Kids are welcome. (There will be a showing of the movie Matilda right after the party as part of library week.)
Come to listen a little, eat a little, mingle a little, have a little fun, and to support me, the library, and the bookstore.
(The picture above of piranha soup comes from my time in Brazil where the story is set.)
Seals strike the best poses (photo RML)
Here is that dipper, admiring his reflection on a fine morning!
Walking to the lake with the dogs yesterday, I didn’t see many signs of spring… but I heard them. Foremost on the soundtrack: the alarm-clock buzz of the varied thrush, unseen, calling from the woods, heralding the season as he does each year. A red squirrel stopped directly overhead on a branch and opened his mouth to let loose such a torrent of squirrel invective that Bella and I both stopped in our tracks, astounded by the vehemence of his outburst. The low percussive hoot of the Sooty Grouse floated down from the hillsides, a strange noise, like blowing air over the mouth of a bottle. From on high, the derisive, sarcastic laugh of the bald eagles, already paired and nested. Closer to the lake, the metronomic whistle of the Northern Pygmy Owl, a diurnal fellow, despite his genus, staking out his territory (successfully? I did only hear the one.) Not far off, the jackhammer of a woodpecker of some kind (Red-breasted Sapsucker, most likely.) Along the trail, In the underbrush, the squeak and chitter of the chestnut backed chickadees, at least that is who I think it was, they were just a flutter of small shapes in shadows. On the water, the low gabble and bicker of the Mergansers. I saw a few American Dippers, uncharacteristically quiet, admiring their reflections. At the overflow, a Belted Kingfisher maintained a dignified silence before flying off, wingtips just off the water. (Clicking on each animal’s name should open a page where you can hear their call…)
I can’t help myself. I love old painted trucks and cars. Why are they so beautiful?
The flight deck.
Passing by Eldridge Rock Lighthouse on the ferry. Sun trying to come out. From snow to rain to sun and back, this is a season of quick turns.
On the ultrasound, at 23 weeks, she sticks out her tongue, she yawns, she sucks her thumb, she stretches, she kicks me in the ribs…
Raising them right.