May 17, 2021

Otter scat

Catherine Boston

I took this photograph about 10 days ago of what I believe is Otter scat.  I am not very adept at recognizing scat but others who are helped me to identify it.  Particularly telling are the bits of crayfish throughout.  This scat was still fresh when I took the picture, as the Red Spotted Purple butterfly has landed to "puddle" on it.  Puddling, or mud-puddling, is a term to describe when a butterfly seeks out salts and other nutrients from moist matter (rotting plant material, wet soil or scat for example) and soaks it up through their proboscis.  I love thinking that maybe I had just missed the otter.  I have heard that they are found not far from ICNA but I have never seen one here.  

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