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)