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: