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Patrick Durkin column: Otter pays an icy visit, capping annual snowshoeing getaway

Sighting caps nature-filled day on annual getaway

12:58 AM, Feb. 17, 2013
An otter pokes its eyes above icy water in a creek below a beaver dam in the Chequamegon National Forest near Cayuga.
An otter pokes its eyes above icy water in a creek below a beaver dam in the Chequamegon National Forest near Cayuga.
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The sun was nestling into the tops of tall spruce and magnum poplars last Saturday as I snowshoed across a beaver dam south of Tom Heberlein's shack in the Chequamegon National Forest.

That meant my camera's shooting light was fading fast. I'd have to hurry to snap a few photos of the otter dens bordering the beaver's long-abandoned dam and ice-covered flowage. The dam's south-facing slope also held several otter slides, their glazed chutes ending in the ice-rimmed creek below.

Tim Watson and I noticed the dens and slides the day before while retrieving gear left behind during our early ...

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