This morning dawned clear and cool, though by late morning temperatures were enough above freezing to start melting the frost on the car, even though it was in the shade. I think temperatures topped out in the low 40s, a pleasant temperature for mid-winter. Winds were calm through much of the day, and it seemed like it could have been a nice day out on the water. I did notice a couple of flowers blooming in the flowerbed in front of the Catholic Church, they were a short iris that apparently is a very early bloomer. I didn’t go look for early crocus, but I suspect some were out in January given the warm winter.
Connor arrived a bit later than expected this morning and informed that he had been distracted by a river otter in the pool below the (road) bridge across Indian River. He said it was still there swimming when he left. After a bit of discussion, he and Rowan decided to go back (she had left from her mom’s a little after Connor, and didn’t realize/notice the otter or Connor when she went by, apparently). Not long after that, I walked out that way for a walk to around the park. Both Connor and Rowan were on a gravel bar on the inner part of the bend in the river, while the otter was swimming circuits in the pool.
During the few minutes I watched, it would dive down in the pool then usually surface back in a little nook at the bottom of a crevice in the bed rock outcrop that forms the bank on the outside of the bend in the river. From there it would swim along the surface back out to the middle, and then dive down again. With the reflected sunlight and ripples on the water, I couldn’t really see where the otter was swimming all the time while below the surface. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend watching, but Connor told me it was still there when he and Rowan left some time later. He was able to get some pictures of it which he posted on inaturalist.