Hubbard Fellowship Post – Friggin’ Aquatic River Mammals

Our two current Hubbard Fellows are nearing the end of their time with us.  Kim Tri actually left at the end of last week and Evan Barrientos’ last day will be this Friday.  We had a nice staff get together last week for Kim and celebrated her successful and productive year with us.  We were planning to do something nice for Evan too, but then he sidled up to me the other day and showed me the video featured at the end of this post.  Now, I’m not sure he’s going to get a party.  Despite that, I will continue to admit that Evan is a talented writer and photographer and he has a pretty decent personal blog. If you would like to see more of his photographs, you can even follow him on Facebook.  I would, however, caution you that he apparently hangs out with creatures that CAN NOT BE TRUSTED and that might reflect on his own integrity.  Regardless, if you really want to, you can read Evan’s last post as a Hubbard Fellow below:

While walking along a channel of the Platte River, I turned around and realized that there was a huge beaver grooming himself on a bank just 20 feet from me. I froze, expecting him to dash away, but to my surprise he just sat there in the sun. This was by far the best look I’ve had of a beaver, and I was surprised by how large his head and nose were. He also had an enormous potbelly as he sat hunched over, reminding me of an obese old  man. For several minutes he sat there grooming, which consisted of slowly rubbing his face and armpits, as if taking an invisible shower. It was a beautiful morning, and he really seemed to be enjoying it as he squinted into the sun. I heard a splash behind me, and turned to see another beaver that had crawled out from the water on the other side of the road I was walking on, attempting to carry a stick across it, but I was blocking her path. Unlike the other beaver, she detected me, and after a moment of panicked indecision, dropped her stick, sprinted across the road, leapt four feet off the road and dove headfirst into the water with a loud splash.

Of course, I’m never carrying a camera when something cool that happens, so I returned to the spot the next morning with my gear. I waited for an hour but no beavers showed up. Instead, I was visited by a family of River Otters. (If you’re reading this in an email you won’t be able to see the video below unless you click on the post title or this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqBWlohOkbk)

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About Evan Barrientos

Evan is a conservationist, naturalist, and photographer, and is currently the monitoring and outreach assistant for the The Nature Conservancy in Oregon. He has a passion for sharing nature with others through environmental education, multimedia, and blogging at www.natlens.wordpress.com.
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8 Responses to Hubbard Fellowship Post – Friggin’ Aquatic River Mammals

  1. edmayjrkma@gmail.com says:

    Hi Evan, enjoyed the otter video. They entertain me. I watched it on my phone. With the small screen I couldn’t tell what they were eating or had in their mouths. Could you tell? Thanks.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. James C. Trager says:

    Haha, Chris. Some people just sidle; I wouldn’t hold that against Evan.
    He has presented you with an awesome video.

  3. Pat says:

    Evan, I do hope you pointed the spot out to Chris. Given enough time he may actually ‘capture” his first otter. A whole family, wow!

  4. Chris Muldoon says:

    Hey, Chris, do we detect a hint of envy in your comments? Nevertheless, congratulations to Evan on his Grand Finale of a post! What a way to end his sojourn with you. I’ve enjoyed his and Kim’s interesting, informative posts — and I really enjoy YOURS, too!

  5. camilla says:

    Ouch, that must hurt, Chris! No party. DEFINITELY. Seriously though, what a fabulous film! It’s as if they know and are just showing off…

  6. Karen Hamburger says:

    Evan,
    Welcome to the list of people the have sighted and filmed otters in the TNC Platte River wetlands.
    (yes Chris, I am rubbing it in !)

    Karen

  7. Mary Lee Johns says:

    Thanks for treating us to the sounds, as well as the sights, of that lovely morning with otters.

  8. Jane Papsdorf says:

    Nice video. Wonder what they are eating? Enjoyed the sounds also.

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