On Sunday, following the taking down, packing up, and moving back to his studio/gallery the paintings from David’s show at the Dennos Museum Center, one of our helpers invited us to dinner at his shanty on the river, one of Leland’s famous old Fishtown buildings. It was the perfect evening to celebrate the culmination of a beautiful art exhibition, and everywhere I looked the view was enchanting, from the doorway of the shanty across the river to fish tug and shops ...
to the sturdy island ferry, Mishe-Mokwa ...
to sweet little female mallards on the docks.
There were simple picnic table appointments and a delicious dinner that included salad from dockside containers.
But I couldn't keep my eyes from straying to the river's edge, hoping to see otters. Any otters? No, just ducks. But they were lovely on the softly gleaming ripples of the river.
Without clouds in the sky, sunset was an uncomplicated, undramatic affair but still lovely as the sky’s color deepened, reflections darkened, and lights came on in the harbor.
Then we heard it! Too loud and close to us to be a nighthawk and without that bird’s raspy cry, it was -- yes, it was – an otter! Swimming and diving and uttering his warning squeak over and over, he would not hold still to have his portrait taken and seemed quite annoyed with the human beings who didn’t know when it was time to leave the river and go to bed so the true riparians could get on with their business. Not much of a photo, no portrait at all, and I was too excited even to think about trying for a video (which probably would have been as great a failure as my one image of the swimming otter above), but you can visit an otter video and hear his warning squeak here. I was so, so pleased to hear an otter! "We could have gone our whole lifetime without hearing an otter," I said to David. My joy in the day and evening was complete. It was time to go home.