Tuesday, November 23, 2010

After the Storm

A cold day, the night windy and snowy although most of the snow in the air was just that being blown about. The south lagoon is frozen enough to stop the canoe but there is still plenty of open water for the ducks that prefer to stay here. Some of them are sitting on the south facing banks, on the earth warmed by the bright sun of this cloudless day.
The American Coot - Column A on the winter eagle menu

I cut NW across the bay to the birch island, scaring up a snipe as I near. There, I ease up against the cattails noticing but not recognizing fresh mammal tracks coming out to the water. I pause here, the warmth and protection that I find from the wind being what I imagine the snipe seek out as well. I often find them here, but seldom anywhere else. With the cold, the ducks and coots are in a dense flock out in mid bay. I find a crow eating a coot wing, no doubt leftovers from the eagles.

Working along the edge of the north marsh, I spot the head of an otter, and then a second otter pops up.

Lontra canadensis - so cool an animal that they named a country after it.

They are hiding next to a large hollow drift log. I watch, seeing them a few times, but only briefly, until they finally move back into the brush. The log they were near shows their tracks and belly slides. In fact, I notice that all of the open areas on the north marsh are as heavily tracked as a dog run...and there are no dogs out here.

Note the otter tracks and belly slides on the top of the log.

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