Thursday, September 3, 2009

Moose Encounters of the Best Kind

Earlier in the week and on the advice of the manager of the ski shop at Sugar Loaf, we headed north and west. “It’s lousy with moose up there” he informed us. I wouldn’t say it was lousy with moose, but the beauty of the woods and the mountains was incredible and most definitely worth the day trip.

The first leg of our journey took us high into the hills. We dallied in a couple of spots to gather firewood and get some photographs. (And also because we actually had cell phone access high in those hills, who knew?) It was on one of these stops that I knew we hit pay dirt…moose tracks!

Quit laughing. I may not be Jacque Klouso, mountain man and tracker of the north, but the size of those babies was a dead give away. There are moose in them thar hills.

It was much too early in the day to see anything of value so we journeyed on, making our way west. We lunched at the side of the road, explored the towns of Langley and Kingfield and more or less passed the time until dusk. It was then that we set out on the last leg of the day.

We motored along, eyes peeled for any sign of life. We detoured onto some rough terrain. (Let me assure you that the beast is not cut out for such off-roading.) We scanned creeks and streambeds for any moose type activity and came up short once again.

It was at this low point and with a pout firmly in place that I glanced off to my right and low and behold what was that large dark, moving object? Moose, Moose, Moose, I cried. Doug slammed on the breaks sending poor Henna flying into the seat in front of her. And with the speed of light I had the camera poised and ready for action. (I could only hope it was set properly.)

There standing before us was one ginormous mama moose with a baby. But wait, what’s that over there? Not one baby, but two! How lucky are we, a mama and her twins? All three stood frozen, startled I’m sure when the breaks squealed. And now Mama slowly turned to face us. She didn’t look particularly thrilled that we had interrupted her evening respite.

She continued to stare for a few minutes; dumbstruck I’m sure, that these crazy humans were so giddy with delight over the sight of her and her offspring.

Just look at that profile. Does that not scream moose?

She gathered her children and moved slowly off to the right. The little family stopped. Mama surveyed the scene, keeping one eye on the intruders at all times. They grazed for a minute and began migrating back to the left. They paused again and one of the babies looked up and directly into the lens.

Oh heavenly day, what a shot. And what a beauty this youngan was.

Mama gave us one final stare before gathering her kiddos and heading off into the forest.

This was the last shot I was able to get before the little family disappeared into the dense undergrowth.

A little farther down the road Doug spied another Mother and child. This one was much quicker and the best I could do was grab a quick shot of them making tracks for the woods.

All in all I would call it a successful day. I saw my moose. A real live honest to goodness north woods moose. It was a gift from above and we were honored to observe such magnificent creatures in the wild. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on nabbing your moose!

Audrey said...

I have been waiting for this post. Congratulations! Not only one - but five.... Kylie will be jealous. In 4 1/2 years at school in New Hampshire, she saw one moose one time - and didn't have a camera. But she said it was awesome.

Great shots!

Anne Rosenthal said...

Hi Susan,
I love your blog and your photography! Amazing! I'll be following along. We saw moose on the next day, in Baxter State Park, and the girls were thrilled (as were their parents!) Happy travels, best,