January 5, 2023 – The ice and solitude of our side of Little Traverse Lake have given safety for four otters who have taken to the little bit of open waters at the start of Shalda Creek. They fish and frolic and hang out on our dock and on the ice surrounding it. This furry family of four is a blast of wilderness and energy for the foursome watching from inside.
On Monday, Hawthorn and I patched up several weeping willows along the shoreline with a bit more steel fencing. The beavers have re-discovered the sweet trees and left a few barkless circles near the trunks. It was quick work and afterwards we cleaned the yard and dock of dog and otter poop. We were having friends over for potluck and sauna and needed a trusted clear path in the dark for cold water dunks.
That evening, we adults did a round of 20 minutes in the sauna, a breathtaking dunk off the dock, and then most importantly taking a sweet moment to hang out in the cool air. Then back into the sauna for a second go around. And then a third. There was a moon peeking through the thin clouds and the air and grounds were wet with days of cold rain and patches of snow. Each of our three ice water dunks was longer than the last. We came out infused with frolic and energy– just like those playful otters.