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# 11 The Otter


The Otter (720mm x 520mm. Acrylic on watercolour paper)


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She suddenly appeared out of no-where, as otters often do, the surface ripple of what appeared at first to be a fishing cormorant or a seal hunting in the shallows transforming into a magnificent otter right before our eyes.  We watched as she slowly moved along the shoreline, slipping in and out of the water, over rocks and under kelp, searching and exploring until she was just metres away from us. A pause and a cursory glance, and she was off again, the low tide larder providing an ample supply of food for her, and maybe her pups hidden in a nearby holt.

These encounters with otters often encourage reflection on the impact that Gavin Maxwell’s wonderful book, ‘Ring of Bright Water’ had on me as a child, literary adventures that took me to Camusfearna and the stories of Mijbil and Edal, and the mystery of living in a remote place with the barest of belongings but the richest of lives.  It is no wonder that I grew up as an advocate for wilderness with a love of the great outdoors.

Noel Ashton’s Wildlife Studiowww.noelashton.com

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