Sunday, April 29, 2012
i have been reading about sea otters a bit lately, but mostly it has not been a happy story. i am reading the last great sea, which is a fascinating book, but talks a fair bit about the colonization of the coast and the ruthless hunt for sea otters for their thick fur coats. these poor little creatures were hunted nearly to extinction, in the times when similar efforts were made on many whale species along the northwest coast and elsewhere around the world. thankfully though, there does seem to be a happier future unfolding. sea otters are making a resurgence, in a few pockets along the coast between Alaska and California. i think these days sea otters are more known for their playful demeanor, rolling in and out of kelp beds and tumbling with their friends, than for the warm fur coat that could be made into a coat for humans.
this little fellow isn't made from fur, rather stitched up in some linens and a soft poly blend. he's a quiet sort, settling in for a float on his back and starfish snack. but he'll watch you with those gentle eyes, and perhaps offer a bit of his meal. sea otters are good friends. he can be found here.
soon enough i think i might need to make him a river otter companion. it's funny how similar and yet different those two animals are. river otters are so numerous along the coast, on the outside waters venturing far from shore, or on the inner coast swimming island to island, but also comfortable on shore, docks and anywhere there is some good exploring to be done. sea otters would prefer to stay in the water nearly all the time, their flipper-like back feet making them awkward on land. yet they usually stay close to shore and in shallow water, tucked into the kelp beds where there is lots of food to be found. two little creatures who have found their own niches on the wild west coast.
wishing you an good start to your week, and May, soon enough. wow, are we that far along already?