My First River Otter

Last week I was photographing an Osprey family and having the time of my life!

Those who know me well will contend that I am not the most patient person in the universe. As a matter of fact, some say that I am rather impatient and a few will even say I am the most impatient person they ever met! Okay, so I can be a little impatient at times–I confess. However, put an animal in front of my camera and me  and I can patiently photograph the animal for a very, very long time–all day in fact.

So, there I was, patiently photographing this osprey family, when I saw movement in the water below me. At first I assumed it was another turtle because I spotted several of them before this. This was not a turtle. I immediately saw it was brown and furry and it was a river otter. Fortunately, I was quick to point the camera on my tripod in the river otter’s direction and snapped a few photos. It was over just as quickly as it began. I photographed my very first river otter!

My fear was that I made a mistake during this small window of photographic opportunity. Was the otter fully in focus? Did I get the exposure correct before I clicked the shutter release? Even by looking at the LCD panel on the back of camera was not very helpful in answering these questions because the sunlight was so bright. I just had to wait to see the images later on my computer screen.

These three photos answer the questions I asked myself and are the first three photographs of river otter  in my widening wildlife photography gallery.

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2 Responses to “My First River Otter”

  1. Congratulations on this rare encounter. I filmed a re-introduction of them in the Juniata River near Everett in 2002, and saw two at Middle Creek Last year, but they were too far for stills. One is always really excited and can’t wait to see if they have captured the subject, but it is much better than in the days when we had to wait for weeks for the film to come back.

  2. Thank you, Willard! I would have loved to see them release them in the Juniata! I too remember the old days when we had to wait for the developed film to come back. I actually spent quite a bit of time in the darkroom for my black and white photography when I was at Temple University. I even had a makeshift darkroom in my apartment bathroom so I could develop the B&W film myself to save some time in the lab. Those were the days!

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