Winter River Otters

I have looked and looked for River Otters out in the Great Smoky National Park (GSMNP) and have never found them.  I posted an eagle a day for the month of February, and got behind in my other adventures.  I found these guys in Central Illinois on Feb 15th.

I was pretty sure something big was keeping the hole in the ice open.  I was guessing beaver, but there wasn’t any tree damage around.  It wasn’t long before this one must have ran out of breath and popped his head out!KJ5D0514-FrameShop

Less than a minute later a second one shot out.KJ5D0534-FrameShop

The second one the smaller of the two started to chase the larger one around.  I am guessing he was the male, but no way to tell!KJ5D0622-FrameShop

I think spring must have been in the air, because it looked like Otter foreplay!  The twenty or so minutes while I watched and photographed them I kept hearing Muskrat Love playing in my head.KJ5D0666-FrameShop

Ahhhh!  They were cuddling!KJ5D0671-FrameShopHowever the larger one looked kind of annoyed and put off, so she had to be the female!  It was the day after Valentines day and maybe he forgot the card, flowers and chocolates!

Life is good and I am blessed!

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