More Wildlfe Than We Can Snap a Pic At

Lately, our wildlife viewing opportunities kicked into high gear. As usual, we found it easier to watch the animals than to take decent photos of them.

A few days ago a 35 knot gale blew through. It brought huge rafts of bull kelp up Lynn Canal, ripped from beds further south. It also seems to have brought a sea otter!

Many tribes of land or river otters make their homes here on our peninsula. We see them in the forest, in the yard, even under the cabin occasionally, but especially on the beach or out in the water. Sea otters, a true marine mammal, do not frequent our area, preferring the outer coast of Southeast Alaska. I’ve only ever seen sea otters in the wild around Gustavus, outside Glacier Bay.

Until now.

Michelle thought she saw a sea lion spy hopping about 100 feet off our beach. She then realized she was looking at a sea otter as it floated on its back, happily chomping on a freshly-caught crab. We watched it through binoculars for a bit before it occurred to me to take photos of this rare visitor. By then it had drifted and swam farther out, where rough seas made it difficult to track. I never managed to get a photo of it, sadly.

Moose calf in the dooryard (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Moose calf in the dooryard (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Yesterday morning, a yearling moose calf came through the yard. It didn’t stay long; it seemed nervous. We assume its mother recently ran it off so she could care for this year’s newborn calf. It left before we could get outside to worry it away. I managed to get a couple of bad, blurry photos of it through the window. My camera’s autofocus gave me good sharp images of the dirty window and my reflection in it, not such good views of the moose. Hopefully, I won’t get any other opportunities to take its picture, unless it turns out to be a legal male come September’s subsistence moose hunt….

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