Otters at Play

Okay, I didn’t actually see the otters themselves, but this is almost as cool. This week I’ve been teaching my students the basics of identifying animal tracks. (I’m hardly an expert on the subject myself, but I know enough about it to teach a short lesson, anyway.) In the woods near one of the lakes we found this odd groove in the snow, as though something had been dragged.

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Can you see it? I’ve been having trouble getting tracks in the snow to show up well in photos.

It was a bit of a mystery until we followed the trail down to the edge of the lake.

003 (768x1024)An otter had been playing in the ice and snow, running around and doing belly slides. What looked like a trail left by something being dragged through the snow was actually from an otter pushing itself along on its belly. I love that otters seem to enjoy playing in the snow every bit as much as people do!

Speaking of people playing in the snow, you haven’t lived until you’ve watched a group of teenagers play snowshoe kickball. Snowshoe kickball is just like regular kickball, except it’s played in the snow while wearing snowshoes, and there’s generally a lot of falling down.

Have a good weekend!

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3 thoughts on “Otters at Play”

  1. Kind of like penguins – they slide on their bellies too! I enjoy going out right after a snow and following the tracks. I on’t always know the animal that made them, but fun following them nonetheless.

  2. I found a neat otter slide in the middle of the city once. The Rideau River runs right through Ottawa, and at one of my favourite parks there are a few small islands in the river. I’ve seen a raccoon there once, in the spring, and a beaver there another time in the winter. I also saw an otter slide in the snow, leading down a short hill to the water. I hope to see an otter up close some day!

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