The title sounds ominous, but this is no drowning or untoward event. I had been hearing something whuffing outside my office window. It was unmistakable - or was it? Each time I went onto the back deck to look for the "whuffer," there was nothing but the sound of water slapping on rocks and pilings. And then I saw him, her or it. I was too slow to catch sight of the velvety nostrils, fish-frightening teeth, or the big Labrador eyes. I only saw the sealion's huge, rounded brown back as it broke the river's surface not 20 feet from me and plunged lazily beneath the beams that support the pilings. I've seen many sea lions around Astoria, but they rarely come into the small bay at the back of my building. When they do, they're almost never this close for viewing. In fact, I've never seen one in so close at just this spot. It's always an experience to connect with a wild animal at this range. I'll stay attuned to the sound of sea lion breathing. I hope he comes back.
This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.