Cloudy and warm with no wind.
Sometimes we feel bad that we miss so much on the lake by going to sleep at night. Night before last we went out late in the kayaks to watch bears. Like a curtain call the bears tentatively stepped from the alders along the south shore of the lake and began their evening pursuit of the salmon in the shallows of the lake. We had two or three brown bears in our view at once. Things are feeling a bit crowded. Our neighbors were out bear watching too. As we paddled with our neighbors back toward their house, we watched a collared adult bear walk boldly along the lake and up to the dock at the their home then disappear into the dense foliage of the yard. We were loud and wary as we landed and made our way to the house.
Early this morning in the faint light of a summer dawn we were awakened by a roaring bear. Yes, this animal was close enough to wake my wife, who quickly woke me. We could see nothing, but clearly two bear were having a confrontation within shouting distance of our porch. As we scanned the lake for a view of the squabblers we saw a tell-tale V of creatures moving in the water, but these were small animals. Six river otters were heading east along the shore of the lake, swimming fast enough to make a small wake on the smooth surface. Thanks to the flat water, I keep watching the otters as they quickly covered the mile of water to east end of the lake. By now I hear the splash of bears walking the lakeshore, gulls fighting over fish scraps, and the plunk of salmon "jumpers". It was sometime before I could tune out the racket and go to sleep.