Summer Climax

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.

Heron Flying Away

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.”

Disturbance in the Water

Suddenly two river otters emerged, and it was clear it was them, not me, that had scared the heron off.

Two Otters in Water

One of the otters, the larger one, slowly paddled toward me, as I clicked away with my camera.

Curious Otter

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.

Otter Feeding 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.

Otters Playing With Dinner

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.

More Otters Approaching

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.

Larger Otters

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.

3 thoughts on “Summer Climax”

  1. Loren I would love to be able to pin-point exactly where you live on a map! You seem to be able to be in close contact with your camera and wild life all the time. I am so envious. These are tremendous shots – what a priviledge to be able to take them. I agree – Summer’s climax, and that is really saying something when I think of some of your other photographs!

  2. What wonderful pictures of the otters! We saw 3 otters in the pond at the property in the Adirondacks that we’re buying. Tried to take pictures but they were blurry – nothing like your wonderful shots! That must have been a great experience.

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