This morning I was out sweeping snow off the front porch when I noticed movement in the woods just across the small road in front of the house; a moose cow stepped slowly out of the trees and stood browsing the twigs and small branches at the edge of the road. I moved quietly to a bench near the door, sat down slowly and kept very quiet and still, hoping she wouldn’t notice me there. She was about fifty feet away. Moose don’t have great eyesight, but their hearing is quite acute. An old Native American saying is that if a leaf falls in the forest, Eagle sees it, Bear smells it, and Deer hears it. Moose is the largest member of the Deer family, and those big ears tell you that they don’t miss much, sound-wise.
When I sat down, she stared in my direction for a moment, munching and waiting. I barely breathed. Detecting no threat, she continued walking and stripping bark and twigs from the trees. I cursed the fact that my camera was inside the house.
She slowly crossed the road and walked directly towards me, peering in my direction frequently. She was now about thirty feet away. While her back was turned to me, I slipped in the house and grabbed the camera. The movement did not scare her and when I came back she had not moved far; I was able to shoot a few photos as she continued her peramble of the yard for several more minutes. Then she disappeared back into the trees.
The Alaskan moose is the largest of the species, and this one was a beautiful big animal. The bark she was stripping was about eight feet off the ground. There is something almost magical about being so close to such a large wild creature.
Labels: Life in Kenai