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Book of Days

BOOK OF DAYS: A POET AND NATURALIST TRIES TO FIND POETRY IN EVERY DAY

January 17: Otter joy

Kristen Lindquist

We joined some friends in chasing a bird today in Winter Harbor--Maine's second record of a Black-throated Sparrow, a bird that belongs in Arizona--and after we found it, did some sea-watching on the Schoodic Peninsula. Amid the sea ducks and alcids, we were thrilled to spot three otters swimming together with grace and power through the sizable swells. Then we heard a loud chirping noise that at first we thought belonged to some strange bird, but which we quickly realized was being made by a fourth otter. It joined the original three otters, with a seal close behind it. The four otters rapidly headed for shore together and climbed up into some sort of den in the rocks. We think the chirping was some sort of alarm call, to warn the others of the seal. An exciting experience to witness as we huddled, cold and awkward, on shore: animals completely at home in a habitat so inhospitable to humans.
Four river otters
snaking through sea swells--
how to live in one's body.