“Something was swimming across the pond this morning”, my husband said to me this morning. “It was diving under the water and coming up in another spot.”
“The comerant has been around and that is what it does,” I replied.
“No, it looked like an animal, maybe a beaver.”
“I don’t think it is a beaver,” I said. “Where would his lodge be?”
“Hmmmm, I wonder if it is an otter?”
Later, while the Labs romped across the hillside, I stood, watching the sparkling waters of the pond, the breeze blowing the last leaves from the bare branches. The ripples spread out in circular bands and as I squinted into the sunlight, I caught a glimpse of something swimming from the water’s edge. Perhaps this was what my husband had seen earlier this morning. Whatever it was, dove down and then popped back up a distance away. As I watched, I spotted two small dark spots, gliding effortlessly.
“Quick, come look,” I yelled to my husband. “Go get the binoculars. Whatever it is there are two and they are swimming and diving.”
So that is how we discovered our two otters, Ollie and Olivia. When I approached the pond's edge with my camera in hand, my lens scanned back and forth. In no time, their sleek heads appeared from the depths. Spotting me, they moved closer, rather than farther away, their bodies perpendicular, craning their sleek necks higher out of the water. Curious, but satisfied that I am no threat, first one, than the other, disappear again, in one smooth motion. I was amazed at the length of them from nose to tail. I could hear them snorting puffs of air from their nostrils and then a strange hmmmmmmm sound vibrating from their throats. I wondered if they were talking to me. "Who are you? Whatcha doing? Taking our pictures? Wanna see us dive and get some fish and frogs?"
And that is just what they did. Under again, bubbles on the surface gave me a hint of where they were, then "POP!", up came a head with fresh catch hanging from his whiskered mouth. Crunch, crunch, gulp, swallow. Whatever it was was gone and then each otter dove again and again.