Winter Wildlife

Every day over school vacation week, I’ve gone to visit Tami, expecting her to be working hard on the manuscript for Cooper and Packrat’s fourth camping adventure. And every day David tells me she’s put on her snowshoes and trudged through the 35 inches of snow we got, to go down to the lake and visit the otter.  Sheesh!  Who’s the mascot around here anyway??

Max on Playground blog

Buuuuuut, I have to admit, that otter is kinda cute.

IMG_6339

Tami says those little ears, hear really well. And that nose, he can smell well, too. But otters don’t see so well. That’s how she’s able to get some good pictures of this shy guy.

IMG_6340

Today she was down there for two and a half hours!  As long as she stands really, really still, and she uses her adapter to extend her camera lens, she gets some okay pics when the little guy isn’t looking.

IMG_6748

While she was standing there a couple days ago, waiting for the otter to show up, a Common Merganser flew in!

IMG_6665

These duck-like birds act a lot like loons. They dive for fish, and carry their chicks on their backs.

IMG_6668

Loons don’t have that messy hairdo though!

IMG_6669

There wasn’t a lot of open water down there by the beaver hut, but this guy made the most of it.

IMG_6670

Today, the eagles soared as a pair over the house. You should have seen all the squirrels run for cover!

IMG_6726

There are extra sticks on the nest, so it won’t be long now. Nesting will happen sometime in March and I’m sure Tami will get pics for you!

IMG_5973

We’re looking forward to eagle chicks this year . ..

When The Campers Are Away . . .

While all of our campers are away, the wildlife comes out to play!

In early January, a Barred Owl perched on our front lawn for over four hours, hoping for a quick meal!

IMG_5054

He even sat right on top the bird feeder at one point!  The smaller song birds didn’t pay him any mind, but I swear the squirrels didn’t come back for days.

IMG_5058

He was not successful that day, but I can’t walk by a window, or go to the car without looking up to see if he’s returned.

IMG_5090

IMG_5147

In mid-January, during an ice storm, the foxes burst into our backyard . . .

IMG_5676

At first we thought they were fighting, a territory thing.

IMG_5677

IMG_5693

But it quickly became obvious, it was more of a mating thing.

IMG_5668

Love was in the air!

IMG_5771

And just last weekend, while I was hiking (wish it was snowshoeing) the camp trail, I came across an otter catching Sunday dinner down by the beaver hut!

IMG_5814

He lay next to holes in the ice, watching, waiting, then slipping soundlessly into the water.

IMG_5816

Most times he came out with nothing. But one time, he emerged with a fish!

IMG_5904

Holding it in his front paws, he ate it right there on the ice.

IMG_5906

I was quite a ways away and needed an extension on my 500mm lens in order to capture these photos.

IMG_5920

Even after 26 years, I’m still finding new creatures to photograph!

IMG_5959

We’ve seen the eagles, but there’s no signs of mating or nesting quite yet. It’s still early, though. Normally, they begin to nest at the end of March, with the chicks being born around May 1st.

Come back often for updates on them!