Not a bad day after all… 🙂 Check the whole story behind these shots below.
The weather wasn’t that great this Sunday, but we still wanted to spend a good day outdoors. At first we thought we might take the car and drove to Kerava Lemmenlaakso area, where we had a great walk in the autumn, not that long ago. But Giusto, the doggie, slept so long that it was already almost 10 am before we were ready to leave. 😉 So a change of plan; we took the cameras and headed to our “own” river here at home. Because it had been snowing yesterday, we saw plenty of otter footprints all over the frozen river. We went a bit up and down the river seeking for them, but then we chose a spot from where we were able to see pretty long part of the river rapids. And then: waiting, waiting and more waiting… to see nothing, nothing and more nothing 🙂 After an hour and a half I left Sari waiting (with a short instruction how to use the camera) and took Giusto with me back home. We grabbed some hot chocolate, coffee, biscuits etc and more warm clothes and rushed back to the riverbed. Just to find Sari shooting like hell ; something?! I didnt even need to ask “what it was?”she told me , nope, it was not an otter, but a mink. Unfortunately the most frames were blurry, but sharp enough to see the subject. It was practically the first time for her shooting with Canon 7dmark2 with 400mm+1.4 extender, and because it was overcast sky the shutter speed was a bit too long to make sharp images. But you who have once tried such combo, know that it aint that easy even to find the subject from the viewfinder, so I am pretty proud of her! After I arrived the mink vanished totally, and we felt a bit cold and hungry. So a quick lunch break at home and back again, waiting..for nothing… It was already afternoon at 2:30pm and we knew that there is light for photography just about an hour or so. Because the river was empty, we thought that we’d take a change and hop in the car and drive maybe 0,5 km along the river to a spot we have sometimes found the otters.
When we arrived the spot, we saw from the distance that there were absolutely no footprints in the snow, but decided to check the river from a bridge. We both said, no, here is nothing, but then I noticed something next to ice! A nose and 2 eyes! Yes! here they were! Just fired away, without thinking – or changing – any settings in my cameras, just to catch these guys. To our joy we noticed that they accepted us pretty nice to follow their hunt in the ice-cold water.
It was awesome to see two of them diving for fish and climb on the ice to eat. They really are lighting fast swimmers as well good runners on the frozen river surface. After awhile they dived down the rapid towards snow and ice covered backwater. And disappeared! We waited for some 5 minutes, no trace! Then Sari said she takes a look further the river, but I told her its no use; it too much ice, I think the otters cant dive under the ice for so long distance. She insisted to check it out, and I am glad she did 🙂 Because , yes, otters do dive long (at least some 100 m or so) under the ice. It was a good spot, we where higher on the riverbed, so they were not bothered by us at all.
A great day after all! It took us almost 5 hours fresh air to get 30 minutes action, but, boy it was really worth it 🙂