Clear and cooler. Breezy, though less so than yesterday. Temperatures dropped down into the 20s overnight and at or just above freezing during the day.
After lunch I went up Indian River to take care of the ibuttons.
When snow is short-lived in town, it’s easy for me to forget about. I didn’t expect to see much heading up the valley. Instead there was some right at the start of the trail. In the forest the trail was mostly clear. There were a few icy spots, especially where there was little or no canopy overhead. By the first bridge, snow was more continuous, though not deep.
Fortunately warmer temperatures after the snow allowed it to get quite wet and freezing temperatures the past couple of days made for a hard crust. I was glad that it generally supported my weight and I only punched through a few times.
Crossing the first big bridge, I think may have startled a river otter. I heard a splash and looked back and down towards the river bank. I saw ripples in the water. A moment later the otter poked its head out. After peering out a couple more times, it decided to move up overland. I saw it briefly on top of the snow before it disappeared under a fallen log.
It may have been the same otter I saw further downstream on my way back. Again it was a splash that alerted me. This time the otter was climbing out of the river. It rolled a bit on the snow before moving on.
When I was done with the ibuttons I checked some bird locations while waiting for it to be near sunset.
My third otter sighting of the day was by O’Connell Bridge, I would be surprised if this was the same one as I saw up Indian River.
There may have been some interspecies drama between the otter and an eagle, or just an eagle curious about whether the otter left any food behind. I was looking away when the otter left, so I’m not sure which.
As I suspected, the sun dropped behind Mahknati Island. Plus there was a cloud bank (based on satellite imagery at the time, the clouds were 100 miles out).
This evening the moon had shifted significantly in the sky relative to the planets. Jupiter and the moon were close enough I could capture both in one picture at 500mm. Had I thought more about it at the time, I would have worked harder at getting a good shot with the hope of having Jupiter’s moons show up better [Update: after reviewing my photos more carefully, and doing some editing, I found they showed better than I initially realized].
Connor and I went out to Magic Island for low tide. It was still running almost 1.9 feet below predicted which made for a -2.7 ft low. A foot higher than yesterday evening’s tide, but still a good low for here.