Monday, December 2, 2013
Here is another shot of the otters at Grand Portage State Park, this time from down in the gorge rather than on top of the gorge looking down into it. I figured out where the otters were most frequently coming out of the water and up onto the ice, then yesterday I sat there for a long time waiting for them to show up. I was just about to give up, thinking they weren't going to come out (or that perhaps they already had before I got there) when I noticed movement further up in the gorge.
At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. After all, there is a lot of running water and when you're sitting there staring at it for a long time the movement of the water can sometimes make you think you are seeing things that aren't actually there. But, just moments after catching that flicker of movement, one of the otters popped up onto the ice straight across the river from where I was sitting! Just moments later, the second one showed up and for the next few minutes they rolled around on the ice, rubbing their backs on the snow and grooming each other. Then, they jumped back into the water and swam over to my side of the river, then crawled up onto the ice about 150 feet upstream from where I was sitting.
I was doing my best to minimize my movements, but they still must have sensed I was there because they kept looking towards me, sometimes directly at me. They never got scared, though, and once again went back to rolling around and grooming each other. After a few more minutes they jumped back into the water and swam upstream, every now and then popping up onto the ice for a quick run, then sliding back into the water again. I sure am thankful to be able to witness these playful creatures in such close proximity. I am thinking they must somehow know that it is my birthday tomorrow and they wanted to give me an early birthday present by letting me get such nice photos and video of them :-)