January 30, 2021

Untitled photo

So I’m standing on the ice there, waiting for the full moon to rise the other night. I’m noticing snowmobile tracks dangerously close to where the Trout River runs silently underneath an unknowingly very thin layer of ice covered with snow, making it look just like the rest of the lake, thinking about how many people are just clueless out there as they race and roar, when all of the sudden I hear a knocking on the ice from underneath. With eyes wide open, I absolutely freeze to try and triangulate the knocking. As I’m trying to process the few things that could be swimming under there, knocking on the ice to get out-imagining some terrible event possibly unfolding-it gets louder and louder. All of the sudden this otter, using the top of its head, finally breaks a frozen layer out of one of its holes and pops out. While the hairs on my neck were slowly laying back down one soldier at a time after the whole regiment was jolted out of a sound sleep to full attention, it crawled out, rolled around on the snow, and started to groom its magnificent coat. It was nearly dark, and in such low light my much sought after perfect shot of an otter still eludes me. But I’m getting closer.