Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique – Second Shots of San Francisco’s Sutro Sam

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Good Evening:

Sutro Sam remains unique for the time being because Sutro Sam remains the only North American River Otter living in San Francisco. Since last Saturday dawned without a dawn (cloudy and foggy instead), I ventured back to the western edge of the New World to try my luck again.

Sutro Baths in the Early Morning of 2 February 2013

Sutro Baths in the Early Morning of 2 February 2013

Sam hunts in the tiny round pool in the right edge of the above photo. This time I brought my 55-200 zoom lens. I found only one other person there, a photographer from the UK with a professional kit. Sam himself felt more comfortable in the presence of fewer humans and made himself a breakfast of free sushi.

Sutro Sam likes to rest on floating wood whilst he eats. One curiosity I noticed is that he closes his eyes whenever he chews.

Sutro Sam likes to rest on floating wood whilst he eats. One curiosity I noticed is that he closes his eyes whenever he chews.

He slithers through the surface of the water, more like a snake or fish than a mammal.

The tail tapers to a point, giving river otters the appearance of a furry, whiskered snake.

The tail tapers to a point, giving river otters the appearance of a furry, whiskered snake.

He had most of his fishing success wading through the grasses.

Sutro Sam Hunting for Fish in the Shallows of the Smaller Pool at Sutro Baths

Sutro Sam Hunting for Fish in the Shallows of the Smaller Pool at Sutro Baths

And another meal (again, closing his eyes when he eats):

Sutro Sam Snacking on a Saturday

Sutro Sam Snacking on a Saturday

A few other curiosities about his behavior. While he tolerates humans as long as they keep a certain distance, whenever he sees a human pointing a camera at him he will immediately dive. Perhaps he thinks the human holds a weapon. Also, he doesn’t just go after fish; he did stalk a pair of ducks that landed in the pool. Not certain if he wanted to eat them or merely chase away potential competitors for food; I doubt he can tell the difference between a duck and a pelican.

Vonn Scott Bair

PS–I remembered that I promised you the solution to my most recent puzzle (read this, scrolling all the way to the bottom). If you look carefully at the left side of the word portrait, you will see (not together) the words “Moose” and “Murders.” Yes, it’s the legendary Moose Murders!

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5 responses »

  1. Hi Vonn,
    I am happy to have discovered your blog on the wp challenge page.
    What an interesting post! We definately have a star in Sutro Sam, shunning the paprazzi :).
    I have been to SF & really enjoyed my trip there!
    Barb

  2. Pingback: Green billed pelican puzzle

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