Usually when we’re anchored in a quiet spot, an audio cue is what alerts me to the presence of river otters – a series of sharp, high-pitched chirps if a whole family is afloat, or more frequently, an unmistakable crunch, crunch, crunch as one of these sharp-toothed hunters chomps through a fish or crab.
But that October afternoon it was a visual cue: the sight of two sleek, dark bodies against the smooth sandstone shore, lit by the low-angle sun of late afternoon.
It was the first day of our final boat trip of the year, and what a great way to start that little journey. The pair – a mom and pup, most likely – went about their business, otterly ignoring their appreciative human audience.
Their agenda included some cuddling and mutual grooming…
a bit of exercise and exploration…
and not to forget, several grocery runs.
Each time, Mom swam out to grab the meal while Junior waited on shore. I’m guessing she had been providing innumerable teaching moments by then and so was thinking, as she brought home their dinner, “He otter be doing this himself by now”.
The entertainment lasted for well over half an hour, until the pair swam off to a different shore – and by then it was time to rustle up our own dinner.
A perfect afternoon in a perfect place, and just under three miles from home. Who could ask for more?