Saturday, August 20, 2011

Otters? Snake? Illness?

Kaylin has been sick all week. Last Sunday I came home from work and she was crashed miserably on the couch with a sore throat and fever. Monday was more of the same so Gene and I tag-teamed work, with Gene staying home in the morning and me coming home early. Gene took her to Proctor First Care where she refused a strep test and was given some antibiotics. Tuesday morning I was very surprised to find her still feverish. Wednesday and Thursday were repeats. What was weird was that while she had this on-again, off-again fever, she seemed to continually get a little better. She was never miserable again, but every time I thought she was getting better, she'd go from a normal temperature to a slight to moderate fever. Somewhere along the line she developed a pretty bad cough that is productive, but her chest doesn't seem too congested. She's sick enough that she missed the whole week of camp, but was eating almost normally and spending a good deal of her day playing normally. Friday I was off work and Kaylin was bored to death and begging to leave the house. We went to Toys R Us and did a couple of quick and minor errands. She was fine all afternoon. Friday night Gene had planned to take the kids to a baseball game but I didn't want Kaylin to go. She was ok with that, but begged me to take her for a haircut. (Which, warning Mom, is now as short as my hair.) She was fine after the haircut so we ran into Wal-Mart for some flea treatment for the pets. By the time we got home her temperature was 101.4F. This (Saturday) morning she woke up with a fever again and has been back and forth between fine and feverish all day. Argh! Of course now I'm freaking out about the neverending fever and it's Saturday and I don't want to take her to a prompt care for what should be a recheck! I've managed to calm down and realize she's not really that sick and that she'll likely be fine to wait to see the doctor on Monday. I just hope soooooo much she's better and can go to her first day of school! At this moment she's labeling and packing school supplies and has every intention of going to school whether she's sick or well. Haha- like mother, like daughter on that one.

Logan and I went to a reptile show at Lakeview Museum and then finally went to their Moneyville exhibit. I can't believe Kaylin and I were at Lakeview almost every week this summer and never managed to make it to their summer "kiddie" exhibit. I guess we were always in a hurry to get to Logan's baseball games the second her ceramics class was over, but Logan's favorite thing in the world is money and we were all looking forward to Moneyville. It turned out to be pretty fun. The major highlight was creating a printed sheet of three paper dollars with backgrounds and denominations of your choice and your picture on front. Logan and I both have personalized million dollar bills. He was very impressed! Logan was also impressed with the reptiles and now wants a snake. He at first wanted a lizard, but I explained how incredibly much work lizards are and he agreed a snake would make a better and easier pet. We'll see. I'm not at all opposed to a pet snake. Someday...

I headed back out to Banner Marsh before sunlight Friday morning. It was just twilight when I pulled in and while I could see, all the birds and other animals were just silhouettes. I immediately climbed to the top of the levee and had walked about 100 yards south when I saw movement in the water. Two long-bodied mammals who appeared to have skinny tails swam toward the bank and were almost immediately lost behind very tall grass. I stood in shock and waited for more motion for at least 5 minutes before resuming my hike. The animals were too big to be muskrats, there was no beaver lodge in the area and they didn't appear to have come on land because I would have seen the grasses moving. Unless they swam a very long way underwater, they likely swam into a hole on the bank. There are beavers all over at that lake and the ones I've seen all appear to have made a lodge and live in deeper water. I'm about 90% sure I saw otters. But oh, that nagging, horrible 10% of doubt!

I walked on and found the active osprey nest on the power line tower. Both osprey were at the nest. I saw tons of indigo buntings, kingfishers, goldfinches, herons and ducks. There were large flocks of swallows, blackbirds and starlings. I saw three beavers in different areas, raccoons and a huge buck, but no more otters or potential otters. When I got back to the area I saw the otters, I went closer to the lake and found what I believe to be otter tracks. Exciting and a fun day regardless of whether the animals I saw were otters, but I don't feel like I can "quite" count my sighting. I guess I'll keep up the hunt. It'll be a hardship :)

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