Thursday, 7 January 2010

Open Water and Beavers in a Time of Freeze - Otters slide.

The recent ban on wildfowl shooting in Scotland by the Scottish Government highlights the difficulties that wildlife suffers in times of extreme frosts.

It is one of the many advantages of the beaver that it keeps open holes in the ice for some time after the rest of the water is frozen over. Here is one such hole by a lodge.

There is a skin of ice of two thicknesses: the one in the middle of the hole having been broken the previous night, perhaps. In the snow to the right of the ice hole are some stripped twigs.

And here is another, more extensive area of freezing over water in the wider ice-scape.

I photographed this from the lodge a week or more ago when one of the shots showed a canal in the ice over to the other side of the pond.

Gradually the open water is icing over, but long after the rest of the pond has become icebound.

Now what is this? Could it be an otter's slide?

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