I haven’t seen the Otters on the slough for a while, I suspected a few reasons, just one makes sense. The smoke is a big obstacle for the animals, it creates a flight response the moment it it in the air, was my initial thought; however I believe that’s not the case. It is most likely due to the number of people on the water and the animals desire to avoid us.
The Otters in the photo above were born this past spring, normally I see them when they are small puffs of fur floating on the water like fishing bobbers. I missed them this year.
The dock has been occupied by Beaver, Raccoon and now the Otter family. Although a derelict the structure on the right should be hauled off and disposed of before it falls apart and floats down the river.The young ones use that spot to gain access to the top, the slanted part accommodates them nicely.
Mom showed up with another cub, she sees me not knowing if I’m friend or foe. She is about 4 feet long and is quite agile out of water, but they look awkward running with their backs at a torturous angle.
She decided I wasn’t much of a threat but it’s as if she told the young ones to take a good look and be cautious. They don’t react too radically when I’m holding a camera in hand, but they don’t like a tri-pod. It’s a phenomena shared with the Crows, they react the same way. Two years ago a mob of the big black birds began roosting in the big Pecan Tree, no leaves were on it as it was winter. I set up my video camera on a tri-pod, when I aimed it at the tree several of them swooped in for a better look. Upon returning to the tree the entire flock flew off and has not returned. I wonder if they thought it was a firearm, it’s the only explanation I have.
None the less, it’s good to see the Otters again, tomorrow morning I will set up before the sun comes up and hide behind a boat on the dock. I won’t be able to fool them but maybe I can hide the camera to eliminate their stress. We’ll see.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter