[Tweeters] Some Life In Port Townsend

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Sun Mar 29 10:55:16 PDT 2015


It has been said before, but I hope you or someone else is compiling all of your posts to tweeters, as they turn this birding listserve into a literary treat of sorts. Great Gray Owls and Bramblings are all very nice, but your little stories are what I look forward to in my daily tweeters digest.

Dennis Paulson

On Mar 28, 2015, at 12:00 PM, tweeters-request at mailman1.u.washington.edu wrote:

> Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 09:58:22 -0700

> From: Jeff Gibson <gibsondesign at msn.com>

> Subject: [Tweeters] Some Life In Port Townsend

> To: tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>


> Yesterday was a good day for me here in Port Townsend, mostly. Oh sure, a person can spend the day in Hell, reading the bad news of the world in the newspaper ,or watching it on the idiot box, or creating trouble of one's own - but Hell is not a location - it's a state of mind, or being.

> Actually, my day already sort of had one foot in Hell (sorry, the details cannot be described in civil terms on Tweeters ) for various reasons of my own making. So that's why I bopped over to Fort Worden for a breath of fresher air. Without changing latitude, I was able to change my attitude.

> The afternoon was quite balmy here at the ranch (Alzheimer's Acre) when I left. That got me thinking of spotting some more butterflies- and right then I did! Small, it seemed to have a bit of a blue tint. A Blue? Probably, but my copy of Pyle is in a pile of books in Everett, not here - and I didn't get that great a look anyway. Oh well.

> By the time I got to Point Wilson, the sun got dimmed by some high clouds, and the temperature dropped a bit - I was hoping to see some interesting bugs in the sands down there (warmth brings them out), but no luck - mostly wandering Thatcher ants. Next stop was the pier at the Marine Science Center.

> There, on the sandy beach, an "Olympic" gull was rapidly horking down sand. I was pretty close to it, but couldn't see that it was eating anything out of the sand, seemingly just sand. Just for grit? I don't know. Nearby Crows didn't seem to either. Gulls and Crows- the salt and pepper of Northwest beaches - add a bit of spice to the scene .

> Kind of a lowish tide (the lowest tides now coming in daylight hours, unlike winter's lows) and calm, so I got some great looks at marine life - the sun, sort of low in the west, popped out of the clouds again, providing some great stage lighting for what I was about to see. First was a Kingfisher - pier regular- looking especially blue.

> Then I tip- toed down the stairs towards the floating dock, and again spotted some Tubesnouts (that thin fish I've posted about before) swirling about under the pier - just in the scores, and not in the thousands I saw recently. The light being great, the water calm and particularly clear I also got great looks at the various big Sea Anenomes , the largest common one like marine cauliflower (sort of) on the pilings. Close looks at Kelp Crabs, and many Decorator Crabs, which look sort of like big grungy spiders. Cool stuff.

> Then, as I was watching this underwater world just below me, a River Otter streaked by below the surface, holding a fair-sized fish in it's jaws. It then jumped up on the dock just below me - not seeing me as I was hidden by the ramp. The spot has quite a background noise of aquarium pumps and whatnot, so I was able to quietly move to a good viewing position and get some of the closest views of an otter ever. Got to watch it chew up it's fish - some sort of largish gnarly sculpin.

> Luckily, otters don't have the greatest eye- sight (out of water anyway) so I was able to watch this critter at close range for quite awhile, until some folks little yappy dog on the main pier, galvanized the Otter into action, and it blooped off the dock and disappeared into the water. Kind of like the infamous hoards of Port Townsend Deer: they don't care about you, or your car, but if you see a deer in a hurry in this town I've found that it's usually because of a dog. Even a tiny ankle-biter dog on a leash sends them off running. I guess it's some sort of hard-wired thing . Like, "eek, there's one of them midget wolves! Run for your life Bambi!".

> Jeff Gibsonreporting fromPort Townsend Wa

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