Posted by: tlnemethy | May 26, 2012

Where The Wilderness Comes to You

I saw a baby bobcat yesterday while I was on the phone. No, I wasn’t sitting at the top of a mountain or on a barely used wooded backroad, but standing a few feet from the staff house. I was within spitting distance of my kitchen window and that little kitten was wandering around right below the porch. I dropped everything I was talking about, threw out the f-bomb and crowded the railing to see the little bugger better. My mum, who was on the other end of my phone call, told me to hang up on her and get its picture, but knowing the serious limitations of my cellphone camera, I declined. A decent plan too, since the bugger heard me drop the f-bomb, casually glanced up at me, and meandered along in just enough of a hurry for me to miss it. That was pretty sweet, if you ask me.

Today, I also got to check something else off my list of “experiences to experience.” This was to accidentally wander in on someone peeing. Now, this wasn’t something I’d written into the list, but more of something that happened and, as an afterthought, had to be added only to be crossed off. You know what I’m getting at here? Its not like one day I was like, hmmm why don’t I put a sort of kinky voyeurism aspect into my to-experience list? It wasn’t like that at all, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Although the image of a fully grown woman peeing with the door open will probably never be erased from my mind, it is a burden I will have to bear.

The best portion of my day had to be the part where I touched an octopus. Yes, you read me correctly. Today I touched a giant pacific octopus. Another to be crossed off the list. One of our fishing charters was mooching for salmon when the angler thought he’d hooked the anchor by accident. He said it was like hooking onto a boulder on Imagethe bottom of the ocean or something, like there was no way this sucker wanted to be brought to the surface. He cranked on the rod for a while until, I can only assume, the last of the suckers released their grip on the bottom and the octopus floated to the top of the water. They peeled it off the side of the boat where it’d moored itself upon surfacing, and shoved it into a bucket, completely unsure of how to kill it.

This is how we crossed paths. I just so happened to be getting down and dirty in the PR (processing room) bagging and vacuum packing salmon, halibut, sole, and rockfish carcasses when someone told me they were Imagehauling in an octopus. My first thought was that I wanted to hold the critter. My second was of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in that octopuses/octupi have deadly beak-mouths. I already avoid parrots because they generally bite me, so an octopus probably wouldn’t be any different.

I borrowed a rubber glove from a trusted individual in the PR and poked it gingerly. It immediately sucked onto my glove with its huge suction cup arm and I got really nervous that it would just overpower me and end up taking off one of my fingers. I’m sure those in the PR had my back, but nonetheless. ImageI touched it a few more times, and realized that no matter how hard it stuck itself to my hand, if I dragged its tentacle above the water line in the bucket he would let go. I really appreciated learning that fact. I played with him a while before the guys had to pull him out and show me exactly how big he was. I thought it was pretty cool, but he also reminded me a little of silly putty, well silly putty mixed with jell-o. Nick also provoked him so I could get a look at his beak. smaller than I imagined, but I still wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end.

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