We’ve had our lake house for three years now. We love being up in the middle of the Adirondack Park on a cool lake framed by mountains. It suits us. But one thing we’ve joked about is the fact that we rarely see any wildlife. In fact, I’ve seen more wildlife on my early morning runs in suburban Philadelphia than I’ve seen in weeks of time at our camp. Last week I saw two foxes and one hedgehog — or maybe it was a groundhog. I’m really not clear on the difference. Anyway, this week at the camp, the lack of wildlife changed. While sitting on my deck, typing away at my laptop, I heard my husband exclaim from dock, “Laura! Come down here! Bring a camera!”
Not wanting to miss whatever he’d seen, I scurried down the steps sans camera. Beside the dock, three little heads bobbed in the water.
“Beavers?” Tom asked. Our neighbor had seen beavers. He’d also seen a bear meandering our property while we were not there.
“I don’t think so,” I said. Though I don’t recall ever seeing a beaver up close and personal, these guys didn’t have those famous buckteeth. The three made a clicking noise and then dove beneath the water with the grace of a selkie, dark pelts gleaming wet in the sunlight.
“They can’t be seals, right?” he said.
“Otters!” I said, as they surfaced again and dove once more. “They’re otters!”
Then they were gone. Disappeared beneath the dark waters of the lake leaving us with nothing but wonder.
The next day, as we started a late morning run, I was startled to see a brood of wild turkeys waddling down the road like a gaggle of women shuttling children home from church. They paid me little mind before returning to their walk. Of course I didn’t have a camera that time either. Later, I remembered that my friend, Linda, met up with a few wild turkeys in a different mountain cabin far from here. She was smart enough to have a camera.
Yesterday we went for a long hike and I wondered if our wildlife luck had change enough to give us a glimpse of something interesting on our hike. I brought my camera just in case, but the most we saw were three tiny frogs, each smaller than a quarter and the color of autumn leaves, hopping across the path. In retrospect, that’s probably for the best. I’m not anxious to meet mountain lions, coyotes or bears while walking in the woods. Instead of wildlife, I’ll leave you with the view from the top of Owl’s Head. (River otter image from mylonglake.com, view from Owl's Head my own.)