With rain predicted for the rest of the week, I wasn’t about to spend Wednesday inside, even though the fog was so thick that I waited until nearly noon to go to Nisqually. Even then it was so foggy that early pictures look “faded.”
It wasn’t until I’d covered nearly five miles that the sun started to seriously burn through the fog-like clouds. As I approached a point where McCallister creek feeds into the preserve, I heard a loud squawk and a large heron flew off.
I was reprimanding myself for making too much noise and missing a great shot when I noticed a funny disturbance in the middle of the “pond.”
Suddenly two river otters emerged, and it was clear it was them, not me, that had scared the heron off.
One of the otters, the larger one, slowly paddled toward me, as I clicked away with my camera.
She must have noted my gray hair and beard and decided I was no threat, for immediately afterwards otters began emerging from the water with lunch in mouth. In fact, there was so much action taking place that I couldn’t keep up with who was catching what and who was eating it. Occasionally it appeared that mom was bringing fish up on the bank to feed a younger otter, though it wasn’t at all clear which was adult and which was youngster.
I’m assuming that all of them were well fed, though, because they seemed more interested in playing with their food than actually eating it. Of course, part of playing with it included keeping it away from brother or sister.
Though I was fixated on getting as many good shots as I could, I noticed that some of the otters were looking out across the river instead of watching me.
When I turned my eyes to where they were looking I was shocked to see more otters heading our way.
It wasn’t at all clear how these otters were related, but, as shown below, the newcomers were clearly much bigger than most of those I had been observing though they definitely seemed like part of the party.
It’s only when I began to examine some of the last shots I took that I saw seven different river otter here, four in the foreground and three in the black, none of which seemed too concerned with my presence. However they were related, shortly they all headed out across McCallister creek.
For me, this was definitely the climax of the summer.