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<-On a Lahti Lab trip to the UP in Michigan.

If you speak with my mentor David Lahti, you may ask him about one of our first meetings. I believe that it is an example of my relationship with nature if I explain it here. I remarked on an anterior-facing skull on his office windowsill, correctly identifying it as belonging to a grey seal. Here is how I arrived at "grey seal". I had no memory of seeing a grey seal skull before that although I likely had in some museum or another, or in a book, or a web search. I had yet to do any work in a mammal museum collection before that day. But, I had seen enough canine, feline and bear skulls to rule those out. We were in Queens, NY. The nearest wild sea lion were further away from us the nearest true seal. Now, for the animal's size. Sea lions, even females, are bigger than grey and harbor seals. I wasn't looking at a juvenile though. The teeth were adult teeth, a few chips and nicks smoothed and squared over and layered over with hardened protein that colored them brown, that I betted would shine like it had been lacquered if I wiped it with a dry cloth. And those teeth! Modest looking. I imagined a sea lion in an aquarium and those I'd seen in nature documentaries and how much of their canines and carnassials were on display. In my head, I layered this skull over in the fleshy essentials: lips, whiskers, some muscles and the teeth receded and receded from view. Too far! The high kept, furry lips of the sea lion seemed like an impossible fit to this skull. If it was a sea lion, something was wrong with it. And the nasal opening! It was like the Holland Tunnel. There is no fitting a tunnel at the end of a proper rostrum. No, this was a true seal's face, with big nostrils and a flat face. So it was an adult seal. Grey or harbor? I recalled the live harbor seals, staples at the Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk, CT. Again, we were in Queens, NY, close enough to Long Island Sound, where they naturally occur in albeit low numbers for a beach comber to find one in the mud or sand. Harbor seal was the most likely fit but what about the grey? They're rare animals, unlikely to be near southern New York. The North Atlantic however, has some. I recalled that David has a tie to Maine and spends time there. I wasn't sure, but a discovery of a grey seal skull up in Maine or Nova Scotia seemed possible. Ok, so, still-, Grey, or Harbor? Now, I'd used the nasal opening to help rule out sea lions and was staring at the opening again. I thought of the harbor seals at the Maritime Aquarium and Central Park Zoo. How many, many, many times had I seen them up close? Some of my first memories were of the sloshing low cylinder of tantalizingly cool looking water, falling over the barrier and turning to droplets that I practically tasted and definitely smelled. The harbor seals went around and around and around. At feeding time, the keepers asked them to take fish where we could see them and so, I saw them and their snouts were more doglike than bear-like and as far as I knew, only bears had nasal cavities as deep as the one I was seeing over my new mentor's shoulder, that day in his office. How could I possibly attribute this outrageously-deep-chamber, a Holland Tunnel of an opening, looking like a landslide had occurred, looking like that KT-extinction meteor had landed in it, to the harbor seal faces that lived in my memories? So, I rolled the dice and said, "grey seal". As if I knew, even though I did not.

I was out collecting fish for my small online aquatics business and I decided to film some gator action! In the top video, one is coming over to me which is not safe for the gator or for people. I threw plants at it and explained why it should be wary of humans. "Problem" gators are lucky to be tolerated for long. Few are re-located and many are shot because that's the easiest and safest way to get rid of them. So, avoid giving gators reasons to be comfortable around humans <-generally a good approach to enjoying these awesome animals that by the way, nearly went extinct once.

The same night, I saw a bigggg beautiful gator that I'd been warned about A LOT. I'd always politely accepted the warning without feeling concerned. I scan the water a lot and I'm never too far from being ready to make a run-hop for a cement wall with a metal rail to it. I also like to sit and observe the watershed for awhile before engaging with it. Anyway, here is that big, 8+ foot animal that after four or five nights without seeing it and only hearing about it, I got to see and appreciate. PS. Maybe someday I'll invest in a go-pro or something but probably wont. I carry enough stuff.

Voluntary Displacement Under Covid-19

Bought a used Ford-150 SuperCab Pickup truck from a man in New Rochelle, NY. It has 130,000 miles on it.

I believe that I will be more productive if I have easier access to balanced diet and better access to sunlight, exercise and wildlife. I have taken and will continue to take the necessary measures to retain New York City residency statuses to mitigate complications that might interfere with the completion of my ongoing PhD. It is based out of the Lahti Lab, at Queens College, a keystone institution of the City University of New York (CUNY) network.

I shall remote teach my laboratory course, quite exactly like I would were I to remain in Washington Heights, New York City, New York. There is however a time difference. I will live in two time zones, experiencing each hour twice.

I shall bring a bulk of technology, books and clothing.

I shall bring the cat with me as well.

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