Cycling home from work last night I stopped for a moment while crossing the bridge at Heuston station. I nearly always stop here for to gaze in the water or to watch the swans. The river being tidal at this point there is almost always a faint,and somtimes not so faint, salty or even somtimes more sulphuric note in the air. When the tide is out mud banks form on either side of the river. These can be strewn with all sorts of the usual and unusual river offerings.
As I paused for a quick contemplation somthing just out of focus slid out of the water and onto one of the banks and disappeared into a wall of greenery . I held my breath and my pulse quickened as eyes darted to the scene and I scanned the mud for signs of movement. Two gulls circled and screeched overhead and clouds created a mysterious aura about the waxing crescent. Silvery darts and movement flashed from the vegetation and eventually a slick whiskered face a body and a beautiful tail emerged in the moonlight. An otter, here in the middle of the city. I resisted the urge to grab passing people and merrily point out my discovery. Instead I silently observed as the air was sniffed and quick decisions were made about which direction to take. A fearless dart into a dark hole in the side of the bridge and then steps retraced back to the river edge a little pause and a pushoff into the water. The head bobbs up and then the whole body streeks off underwater and off up the Liffy.
What a privelage and much food for thought. I reland apparently has the densest population of otters in western Europe a fact to indeed be very proud of.