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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

The Loch Periwinkle monster? Not really

Written May 27th, 2018 by Hasso Hering

While Albany seemed all but deserted Sunday because of the holiday weekend, I caught a brief glimpse of one of the town’s elusive but reportedly plentiful creatures. If you click on the video you can see it too, sort of.

The black furry thing making its way up Periwinkle Creek was too big to be a rat, and Perwinkle Creek is not known to be a home for beavers. So I assumed it was a nutria, of which I’m told there is no shortage along the city’s waterways.

I was going north on the Periwinkle Bike Path, and the nutria was placidly swimming south in the middle of the murky channel.

By the time I had turned the bike around and wrestled my phone out of the bag on the top tube, the swimmer had become aware he was being watched. He didn’t like it and dived. He came up again pretty quickly, but seeing that the guy on a bike was still on the bank, he headed for the weeds and stayed there. Or went under again and swam away — I couldn’t tell.

“Nutria” always sounds like a Latin plural to me. If it were, that singular character down in the creek would have been a “nutrium.” Either way, it was black, sleek and wet. (hh)

Albany’s Periwinkle Creek and Bike Path southeast of the Queen-Geary intersection.



5 responses to “The Loch Periwinkle monster? Not really”

  1. Pam says:

    Probably an American Mink. I see them all the time at Waverly Lake and Talking Waters so I am sure they are in other places around town.

  2. john marble says:

    Nice video of our State rodent, and an interesting selection of the word “dived”.

  3. Kathy says:

    We too walk that trail and the other day we counted 12 Nutria of which 8 were babies. They are taking over the area. So far we are still seeing ducks and baby ducks but not as many as we have seen over the past few years.

  4. Kristi Robb says:

    This is my “backyard” so to speak! It’s true, there’s no shortage of nutria along the path. My husband always grumbles about them, and I sort of get why, with them being non native, invasive, and having some environmental impact…but they’re pretty cute in their own way. It’s not their fault they were brought here. ;)

  5. hj.anony1 says:

    Go Beavs?

    Seriously though…. no need to worry! They have a google machine quote of: Conservation status: Least Concern (Population decreasing)

    There you have it. Declining. Should we protect them now?

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