"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Thursday, February 25, 2016

River Otter, When A Plan Comes Together

I have long known there was a river otter or two living in the small stream that I frequently haunt in search of wildlife to photograph.  
Finding evidence of otters, and actually seeing them, are two different things.  Their tracks are distinctive...


When they travel on snow they run a few steps and then glide on their bellies leaving a trail that is easy to spot...



Because otters are mainly nocturnal they are seldom seen during the day.  I learned that this small creek, barely 30 yards wide, was due to be stocked with trout.  I began to imagine what an infusion of 1000 trout would signal to the sensory receptors of predators living down stream from the stocking point.

On the day following the scheduled stocking I parked several miles down stream and watched the creek for nearly four hours.  Nothing of interest appeared. I hoped it was because the scent of the newly introduced trout had not wafted so far down stream yet.

The second day following the stocking dawned overcast, cloudy and with a steady rain predicted to last all day.  Perseverance and patience are two requirements for successful wildlife photography so I dutifully set out to begin my vigil once more.

Upon arriving at my selected spot I almost immediately noticed a disturbance in the water.  In an instant a young otter appeared...


The otter was clutching a fish in its front paws and proceeded to devour it as I watched...




Because of its size I believe this is likely a young otter, perhaps spending its first season alone...



Otters are carnivorous eating fish, crayfish, clams, and almost any prey they can catch on land such as rabbits and birds...



Otters will occupy abandoned beaver dens, hollow logs or other natural structures.  Sometimes evicting the original occupants to claim a new home...

 

When the otter finished the fish it slipped into the water and disappeared down stream...


I waited a while longer, hoping for another glimpse of the otter but it did not return.  I was rewarded by the appearance of a mink, perhaps drawn by the scent of the meal that the otter had just eaten...



Thanks for visiting,share with your friends, be well and come back soon.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you I always enjoy the photos and the thoughts.

    ReplyDelete

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