Sunday, April 29, 2012

roly poly...

sea otter

sea otter

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?



7 comments:

Roslyn@Sew Delicious said...

He is gorgeous! We went to the Melbourne Zoo this weekend and my little one Anna really loved the otters this visit. I love how you've made him in that position on his back - that is exactly what I think of when otters come to mind!

leFiligree said...

i love his little snack! a very cute bonus.

a lot of alaska's gory early history centers on russian sea otter hunting, and the brutalization of the aleuts and the otters. it is chilling.

Margie Oomen said...

he is so playful and fun

Natalie B said...

All I can think of is my little baby boy in the bath with my hubby. He takes on the same position with a bath toy in his hands (usually a little plastic crab or turtle)

Myriam said...

I love your sea otter - he's super cute!

I've also read that Glavin book - have you read some of his others? He's a great writer but sometimes it's hard to read about the topics he chooses.

Funny you should mention river otters and their limited travels on land. Just yesterday we were visiting a friend in Armstrong, north of Vernon. He told us a story about a river otter showing up in his fish pond on Good Friday and devouring goldfish and a coi. This house is at least a mile from the nearest natural (and small) pond, and a very long way from the nearest river. I can't imagine how the otter got there!

jenny said...

This is so flippin' (haha) cute. I love it. We don't have a lot of sea otters around here... most of the guys we see are river otters. There is a family of about 4-5 river otters that lives right by the kids' favorite playground. They are so not afraid of the children running all around... it's crazy. They are brave little guys.

david at studio tuesday said...

One of my favorite animals. Love his starfish.