76 – Red River, Trout Fishermen, Wild Geese, River Otter

This morning I leave early to go back up north of Questa, along the small road that leads to a fishing spot on the Red River. A few fishermen are already practicing in a reservoir. A father and son set off up the riverbank. I follow them. Quite soon I stop to take some pictures with the pinhole camera. From one photographic stop to the next, I eventually overtake them. They are sitting sheltered from the wind, they do not hear me coming, the current is loud. They seem to be in heaven, blissful. The three of us exchange a few words, so happy to be here on this sunny, peaceful day.

I continue towards the Rio Grande to see from below what I saw from above. After more than two hours of walking and contemplative stops, I reach a place where the canyon narrows. I should arrive soon.

On the opposite bank, I see two wild geese. They seem to be talking to each other and looking for something. They are so busy that they let me take a picture of them.

Silky rustling of the spread wings.

A few meters on, the river turns at a right angle and cliffs rise up from the water’s edge. I can’t go on. Very disappointed,

I turn back and discover a different river now that I am walking upstream

I sit down on a big comfortable rock, half submerged in the river, to change the film in the pinhole…

At one point, I look at the water just below me, on the right. An animal, there, five feet away! In the time it takes to turn my head and see it, it dives and swims upstream with amazing grace. It emerges from time to time, takes a furtive look around, and slips back into the current. 

I pass the fisherman and his son, installed further up the river. They have taken their jackets off and have already caught brown and rainbow trouts. Happiness. I ask them if they have seen something I don’t know the name of looking like a tiny seal.

– Oh, yes! You are damned lucky. We who live here and fish often, it’s the first time we’ve seen one! It’s a “river otter”! 
I ask them to repeat the name because I don’t know it.
It is only once I get to my computer that I realize it is une loutre!


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