Ok, so this picture is a little like a picture of the Loch Ness monster -- there's an otter there, honest!! (What can I say, my camera STINKS.) The smaller "lump" is it's head and the longer "lump" is it's rump and tail. You'll just have to take my word on it. But it was SOOOO cool, and as we made our way around the pond on our walk, it kept just ahead of us, checking in on what we were doing occasionally, fully aware that is was safe as safe can be in the water. It looked like it was having SUCH a great time -- I want to come back as an otter in my next life!
As we were "sneaking up on" our otter, we found a mass of frog eggs. (Yes, another lousy picture, sorry!) It's the fuzzy white clump amid the weeds towards the top of this photo. That, plus the otter, convinced us that the frog pond was the place to be yesterday morning, so we hit the trail that follows the perimeter of the pond, hoping for more wildlife spottings. We were not disappointed!
The kids and Kiri on the trail. One challenging aspect about this trail is that there are several inlets to the pond, and one quite swampy area, so lots of water to get across.
The boys show off their balancing skills by hopping their way from rock to rock across an inlet stream. We were immediately rewarded for our hard work, because as we approached the swampy area at the main inlet...
...we flushed a trio of Wood Ducks from this stand of dead pines. They flew right past our heads and we had a great look at them, listening to their whistling for quite some time after they flew off. Perhaps there are suitable nesting holes in those old snags?
We carefully picked our way through the swamp, looking for more evidence of the Wood Ducks, and again, we were not disappointed.
...we came across these mink tracks!
A closer look at another mink track. Don't let the scale deceive you, these tracks are really quite small, we would have missed them if we hadn't been specifically checking the mud for duck tracks.
There was no lack of beauty surrounding us on our walk. These little Wood Anemones were everywhere along the trail.
Now, you see how easy it is to spend an entire morning on a walk that should have only taken half an hour?!