A Road Less Travelled
'A French Letter'
Saint Aubin de Pouancè
29th May 2016
The weekend weather has been glorious again. Very warm up to 26 Celsius with a gentle breeze that is hardly rippling the surface of the lake. In the evening I went for a walk around the lake. There are several streams that flow in and out of the lake, each with a very picturesque wooden bridge. The frogs were going absolutely frantic, no not the French, I'm talking about the amphibians.
The noise that the frogs were making, was very loud. It was getting steadily darker and I was sat watching a heron making its last patrol of the day round the lake. It was then that I heard a loud splash which instantly caught my attention. I could make out in the gathering gloom that there was a vee shaped wake heading directly towards me. Keeping very still, while at the same time, turning off the audible click mechanism on the camera. Then as it drew closer, I could make out a darker shape in the water. When It was about 50 feet away I could clearly see it was not a bird and it was to large for a rat or a vole.
I was rewarded with a few photographs of an adult Otter who was patrolling the edge of the lake. It was weaving in and out of the fishing platforms in the waters edge. It was about 10 feet away as it passed me, it was only then that I noticed that I was holding my breath. This is twice this year that we have observed Otters on French waterways. Which compares with twice in 40 years of unintentional observation of Otters on the English inland waterways.