River otter family

The sun had finally come out and it almost felt like the first hint of spring in the air down at the Gold Beach harbor this past Saturday.  I noticed a family of river otters who were just finishing a large meal (judging by the size of the fish tail I could see), and now they were frolicking about on the docks and enjoying themselves with great satisfaction!  Luckily I was there with my camera!

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They had fun running across the dock and also did some sunbathing as well as dock jumping and swimming.

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They seemed like such a happy family. I did not pursue them with the camera (200 mm lens) but simply sat on the dock and let their curiosity bring them to me.

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It was very exciting to see four together like this! The one on the right with her back turned appeared to be in charge. It may have been a mother with her youngsters.

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A woman and her son were coming down onto the dock to catch crabs, and she bemusedly pointed out to me that while I was photographing one otter another one popped up behind me to check me out!

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These two stayed near the dock for about 20 minutes, playing peekaboo with the funny photographer. I never knew where they were going to appear next. Here one of them was chewing loudly on something crunchy!

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And then there was also a large group of harbor seals taking their siesta amidst a symphony of snorting and sneezing.

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Sheer curiosity and dare-devilism!

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Their speed in the water is amazing! I heard them communicating with what almost sounded like the chirping of birds or Blanca playing with her squeaky toy. I had never heard that before although I’ve seen otters a handful of times.

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Climbing up onto the dock from the water is as easy for them as breathing!

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I was amazed how close they came to me! But escape into the water was always just a split second away.

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These two were inseparable. I felt like they were siblings who were egging each other on to get closer to the strange photographer!

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“I just want to know what that clicking is!”

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At this moment I was actually starting to ask myself what I would do if he came right up to me! But then he veered off to the left and jumped into the water.

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Another run-by with a cheeky look!

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The sunlit dock provided an excellent background that allowed their cute shapes to be nicely visible!

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Back into the river!

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And then back up for another look!

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With a close companion.

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That is one bold little otter! Not a word is spoken, but I find such encounters to be deeply moving.

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What I wouldn’t give to know what conclusions the otters drew about the large clumsy creature they saw on the dock that day!

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In wintertime, the unused docks are their playground! But I think anywhere they are is their playground!

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It is such a gift to witness the beauty of wild animals.

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Exuberant and playful!

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Best friends forever!

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River otters are very susceptible to pollution and therefore a thriving otter population is a good sign.

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Okay, we’re off! It was fun! 🙂

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