Normally there isn't really any beach to speak of in this part of the lake - the water goes right up to the trees, but the last couple of years this is a typical look for our area lakes.
If you squint maybe you can see the otter left-mid-field with a V of water behind him. He swam parallel to the shore, diving and surfacing, fairly close all along where we were, checking us out, then continued on his way. You can see the low water there again, too.
Quite fun. I'd never seen an otter in the wild before. Definitely preferable to some of the other wildlife we risk seeing on certain hikes: bears or wild boars. We also saw several deer and lots of ducks.
Me and Caroline - if you look closely you can see someone shot at the sign... must not have been as lucky seeing deer as we were.
Fants Grove is in the Clems*n University Experimental Forest, or one of them. (Rode bikes with John on Sunday and we went past another bit of one, north of Central.) It is only about 20 minutes from my house, so I was happy to learn some nearby trails for once, where it's easy for me to return for a short hike on weekday mornings this spring maybe, for example. Fants Grove is rather a rabbit warren of trails tho. I'm still amazed Caroline found her way around. Plus we didn't exactly take the most popular ways. Instead of the three main loops, Caroline led us on one huge loop, but to do it we went on one trail for a ways, then another, then another... We changed trails at intersections about 12 times for a total of 9.5 miles weaving thru and linking trail to trail. It was surprisingly warm here last Saturday (upper 60's at the warmest part) - everyone was stripping down if possible. I had my winter hiking pants on but they still are convertible so I was in shorts for part of the hike, yay.