On Saturday, it snowed heavily all morning and another few inches of fresh snow cover accumulated. Sunday dawned bright, sunny and cold. In the morning, we took Pookie out for a walk on the road along the river, and these marks in the fresh snow caught my eye. They exited the culvert and continued down the river in a series of dots and dashes: the tracks of a river otter!
The dots are the otter’s footprints as it pushes off and inscribes a dash as it coasts along on its belly. It looks like fun! Judging from a distance, the belly dash looks about a foot wide, and about 6 to 8 feet long.
This is the first evidence I’ve seen of a river otter on our little section of creek. I was a bit surprised to find it because this is quite an agriculturally intensive area, with plenty of big corn fields emptying their load of fertilizers and pesticides into the river.
I followed these tracks until they disappeared over a stretch of ice. I found a second trail in one of the corn field drainage ditches.
For some cool photographs of otters and more information about these interesting critters, see Seabrooke’s blog, The Marvelous in Nature at L’Otter Fun, linked here.