Will the Otters remember the sunsets too?

Our new Time-Share …

By —— Bio and Archives--September 30, 2018

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Sunset on the Bay; photo by the author… right on the shores of a big lake with beautiful scenery.

I’ll admit, with less than 240 square ft. of inhabitable space, it’s not exactly a mansion. But it suits our purposes and, quite apparently, also those of our guests.

The new abode had hardly been in place when already a thousand fish showed up to inspect it –an adult bowfin (Amia calva) herding an estimated 2,000 of its small finger-nail size newly hatched offspring in shallow water. This is a rare sight that I only experienced a few times in several decades.

Our new “time-share” property sports other wondrous sights as well. For example, the sunsets on the bay can be quite spectacular, as seen in the picture, near here. We’ll take reservations now for another season.


The Demand is Great!

So far, most of our time-share guests don’t stay very long, one night or two—though that might change with time ... will have to see. Still, as soon as one group leaves another one arrives soon after and each has its preferences and particular activities.
To be honest, their hygiene and housekeeping leave a bit to be desired. Luckily, I had already treated the walking area surface with a non-stain treatment right away. It makes it easy to clean up with water alone. Perhaps we ought to charge extra for that service to keep the cleaning staff happy or ought to revise the “business model.”

There could be a great new business opportunity in this; will need to discuss that with counsel and accountant.

What do the Neighbors think?

Actually, they appear to be quite blasé about the whole development. Neither the big blue herons wading among the reeds, nor the herring gulls, Caspian terns, or kingfishers overhead seem to give a hoot. They just go about their routines as always. The same indifference is found onshore. There, the chipmunks, squirrels, noisy bunches of blue jays, flickers, and the (utterly) confusing fall warblers come by regularly to partake of nature’s harvest of acorns and the many other delicacies.

It’s fall after all, that time of the year when migratory species group together and prepare for a long travel to more hospitable climes and to escape the harsh winters “up north.” Most of the few monarch butterflies have already departed in the preceding weeks. With few flowers left on land, they loved to find small stands of the blue flowers of pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) to get a nourishment of nectar before continuing on their long travel to their overwintering sites in Mexico.

Of course, all new developments come with certain ecological considerations.


Ecological Considerations

Clearly, the local environment is quite varied and multifaceted. We are happy to note that this new development does not appear to cause any concern for the local inhabitants at all. To the contrary, all signs point to the rapid acceptance and actual welcome of the new structure by all concerned. Indeed, it appears to be a real hit.

Furthermore, the structure is truly a “zero-energy” abode. No manmade energy is needed for frills like air-conditioning in summer or heating in winter. The structure is fully energy-independent!  How much more “carbon-neutral” can it get?? (Not that carbon dioxide has anything to do with the climate!)

Sure, there’s some “carbon” (collected from the air via photosynthesis) in the place. After all, most small housings on this continent are built with much wood. With some care and luck, our new “time-share” will last for decades and well past our life time.

Fessing Up

Just in case that you are still wondering what this is all about, let me fess up:

Our new “time-share” is a floating wooden dock and the “guests” are (alternatingly) river otters (Lontra canadensis) and muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus).

There’s just one question remaining in my mind:

Will they remember the sunsets too?

River Otter


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Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser is author of CONVENIENT MYTHS, the green revolution – perceptions, politics, and facts Convenient Myths

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