Morning moose

Morning moose

I was awoke one morning to the sound of Daniel’s voice, saying, “There’s a moose in the backyard.”  Since the only moose we have ever had actually in our yard were cows and calves, I was slow to get up and check the moose.  Michelle hardly budged – she certainly was not going to get up at that hour to look at moose.  Of course, in her waking hours, if she ever sees a moose she calls me up – no matter the time of day, no matter where she is or where I am – to let me know she just saw a moose.  But, she withdraws from her role as the “Moose Whisperer” when there is sleep to be had.

When I got up and saw this handsome bull resting in our freshly installed sod strip (laid to replace the empty ground where the pointless cement sidewalk existed previously), I quickly increased my pace, got dressed, and set up a large tripod with large lens in Daniel’s bedroom – the best vantage point for the moose.  Plus, I also thought it was appropriate for me to set up and use his room as a blind, as he is the one who woke me anyway.  But since it is later in the summer, even after jacking up the ISO to 3200, and opening all the way up to f/2.8, I still was getting low shutter speeds and fuzzy images.  After about ten minutes, I left Daniel in charge of watching the moose, noting that I would try again later, closer to sunrise and my usual time to get up.  Daniel proceeded to watch the moose, then video tape it on the loaner digital camera I let him use while he is visiting.  In a while, the moose got up, laid down a couple of spots of new fertilizer in the backyard, browsed for a little bit on our new aspen grove that is growing by the shed (I encourage him to eat as much as he can of that stuff), then cross through the front yard and off our property.

We have seen that very bull at least three times since, passing through our yard from back to front and exiting at the southeast corner, and always at around 5-6 a.m.  We are on his irregular morning route, which is rather exciting.  Who knows, maybe we will get lucky and he will start to develop a harem in our backyard.  Probably not, but one can always hope.  But, for some reason, he like the other moose who pass through, find our property appealing as they move from the wetlands to the north of Jewel Lake and on through the neighborhood to the south.  I consider it one of the many wonders and gifts of living where we do, not only in this city, but in this particular part of it.  We get all the benefits of some wildlife encounters, like the moose, bats and our many avian visitors, and none of the drawbacks like troublesome bears.

Whatever his future plans, I hope he has a good rutting season, our visiting moose.  And best wishes for a healthy winter, although we are going to have to cover our new apple and cherry trees to make sure it is not too good of a winter.

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