Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Animal Brushes

Sheryl called yesterday to tell us about an otter she had seen in front of the lodge. Apparently there is a hole in the ice by the dock. This otter is having a great time going in and out. Otter are some of the best fisherman among our local animals. We speculate that this otter is finding some very good meals down his hole.

It is not unusual to see otters along the lake shore. Bruce and I have a spot we troll along to get lake trout in early June. There is occasionally an otter there. They are not frightened off by a boat trolling past so we would see the animal on every leg of our trolling pattern.

Another neighbor was recently telling me about her encounter with an otter. Marcia likes to take a swim in the lake around 3:00 every afternoon. About three years ago, she was in the middle of her swim when something brushed her leg. Immediately after the brush, a loon popped up beside her. Each day thereafter, she would see a loon swimming back and forth in front of her dock as she went in for her daily swim. This has continued for the past three years.

One day something else brushed her leg. Up popped an otter! Marcia was out of the water like a shot. She felt somewhat intimidated by the otter’s teeth. The otter has not reappeared but the loon is still there.

Bruce can relate to Marcia’s experience of being brushed while swimming but his brushes have occurred while diving in the Keys. Sometimes it is a shark going for the freshly speared fish in his dive bag.

A couple of years ago we were down for the opening of lobster season in the Keys. Bruce was asked to spear fish for dinner along with getting his limit of lobster. He popped up rather early during the dive and quickly motioned for us to come get him. A shark has taken an interest in his bleeding fish. Bruce had hit the shark on the nose twice to back him off but decided to get out of the water rather than fight a losing battle with the shark. The fish tasted great for dinner.

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