It was a lot of work heading against the current today. I was a bit surprised by the strength of the Crow’s current. But I was rewarded significantly. Today, I saw my first otter. I’ve been wanting to see one for a long time… but I’ve been zipped until today. They are curious creatures; the little critter was as enamored with me as I with he. He’d peak from the shoreline, then scurry into the grass and run downstream to take another look, as if to see whether I could keep up with him. I was able to keep pace, but I didn't successfully get a shot of him with my camera. (Some animals simply do not stop to pose for human popperatzi.)
As if I needed it, I got a second reward a few yards further down the river. I had seen an egret on the way up the river down the second bend. So, I lifted my paddle to drift with the current on the way back down, thinking I could get much closer to the big bird on my way back, using the element of surprise. My plan worked. I was able to study the huge crane as he fished from his perch on a log. (As always, click on any photo to enlarge it. Then, hit your "Back" button to return to this spot.)
Finally, as I got a little too close, he took flight… screeching at me for invading his territory. I was amazed by the loudness of his call… and delighted to snap a second shot of the huge bird as he became airborne. It was cool enough that I turned around and paddled back upstream to get a second look, where he had come to rest on a sand bar upstream. It was worth the effort… this breed of fowl is an amazing bird to study.
You can see these creatures in a zoo. But so much better, it is, to see them in freedom of their element.
© 2009 Mike D. Anderson, St. Michael, MN. All rights reserved.