Animals, talking and otherwise
Yesterday, Kam and I visited Coyote Point and then saw the Narnia movie. I'll talk about Narnia in a separate entry; this one's for Coyote Point.
Coyote Point was nifty as usual. Kam is posting some of her photos at smugmug. I have a bunch of photos too but as usual am unlikely to get them posted publicly anytime soon.
They've still got the memorial placard for Alex up; various of us have been donating in his memory for the past few years. (Under the name Stef Mallory, which was one of his pseudonyms/RPG character names, and was the name he used to sponsor the foxes at Coyote Point before his death.) Unfortunately, the grey foxes that Alex loved died about a year ago. There's now a Channel Island fox--I think the sign said it was the most endangered mammal in California? It's really extremely cute. Kam got some good photos, though they don't quite make totally clear just how tiny and cute that fox is.
It was at Coyote Point years ago that I learned how steady a hand Alex had as a photographer; that first time he and I went, he took some great fox photos in circumstances where all I could get was a blur.
On yesterday's trip, Kam and I talked a fair bit with one of the animal handlers. She was very friendly and informative. Apparently feeding time (around 4 p.m. on Saturday, or at least on this particular Saturday) is a good time to visit; we watched her romp with the coyote (who seemed to want to play tag), and then she fed the very grumpy-looking porcupine (who apparently almost never comes out when there are visitors around), and then she went and played with the skunk for a while and told us about skunks, and then when I asked about the fox she went and fed him in a way that lured him out from his hidden ledge. We also watched the birds (especially the impossibly cute burrowing owls, and the ravens) and the otter. I remember the otters coming and standing up to pose for Alex's camera; I think they were Alex's second-favorite animals at Coyote Point.
Anyway. I don't get up there often--this was probably the first time in a year--but I always enjoy it when I go. If you find yourself in San Mateo, and you like this kind of thing, you should visit there. Very kid-friendly, too. The museum part isn't so great, unfortunately--many/most of the exhibits are 30+ years old, and tend to look kind of dilapidated--but the animals are definitely worth visiting.