Friday, October 7, 2011

Better Lucky Than Good

Today I spent a couple of hours waiting for an elk crossing that never happened. I have taken enough pictures of elk in fields to prefer the more difficult shots like crossings and elk in the woods. The result is that often I am skunked much like the angler who forgoes small fish to focus on trophy fish -- getting skunked goes with the territory when you raise your sights.

I did get a couple of landscape pictures, but today's gift happened on the way back hiking up the Buffalo River. Ahead of me about 100 yards off I noticed the big wakes and commotion that I now recognize as river otter feeding around a weed bed. The Buffalo National River has a lot of otter and other marine mammals. When hiking the river one will see them now and then, but it is never common.

Sometimes Otter Slow Down -- Sometimes You Get Lucky

In this case it was 3 juvenile otters that appeared to have just been kicked out of the nest. Otters are not particularly timid, but they move very fast and it is hard to get a picture of them. Often when you get one, they are soaking wet and "shiny".  As a dark animal against water reflections, it can be real tough getting the correct exposure. I learned from failing a few times that over-exposing some or a lot is critical to getting decent detail.

Anyway, I did get some shots while standing in the river. I missed most of the shots, but I got a few. It was a joy to watch them feed and play. Here is my "better lucky than good" shot. It is failure like this that keeps me hiking along the Buffalo National River.

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