Newlyweds…?

I had seen their sign on the way up the trail, huge hoof-prints, huge droppings, and bits of long, black, coarse hair…but not much else…no sounds, anyway.  It was hard to tell how old the marks and droppings were, but I kept looking to the sides of the trail for a bit…and then gradually didn’t think more about them.  I have seen their sign on other hikes and have only seen them once before…a solitary cow standing in the middle of the early morning trail….  On my return trip back down the trail, a couple of other hikers were stopped ahead of me, had their cameras out, and were pointing up the slope…all we could see was the female…laying there all large and sleepy in the woods.  I crept up the slope a couple of steps as the other hikers tucked their cameras away and started down the trail again.  As I kept zooming-in and taking increasingly closer shots, it seemed that I could see another ear flicker in the woods behind the cow.  The brush was too dense to see more than an outline of the other moose, so I tried to quietly head down the slope and over to the one side where I could see another access that might give me a better vantage point to see who else was back there.  Well…the couple of drops of Native American blood that I have remaining from my ancestors waaaay back did nothing to help me sneak-up on the creature that was hiding back there.  The bull moose heard me and slowly got up and started ambling through the brush, once or twice turning to look in my direction.  Again, the brush was thick and I only managed two non-blurry pictures that give a good indication as to what he looked like…with his antler buds starting to protrude from his forehead.

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32 responses

  1. What an amazing encounter! You are so fortunate!

    June 8, 2012 at 7:12 am

    • I thought so, too, Bonnie…thank you. 🙂

      June 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

  2. uh . . . nice pictures, but remember they do attack.

    I know, I know . . . Mr. negativity. It’s the engineer in me; always looking for potential problems.

    June 8, 2012 at 7:36 am

    • I do remember that, Emilio, but thank you. The first time I encountered one, she was smack-dab in the middle of the trail right after I rounded the corner and topped a slight rise in the trail…it was still early morning with low light and I was rather surprised. First thing I did was look for a little one and then how far I would fall/fly if I had to jump down from the trail. I am usually alone on my hikes, so am always looking around…. Thank you, though, Mr Negativity/Reality…I appreciate the heads-up. 🙂

      June 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

  3. Great encounter, indeed. I crossed paths with several some years ago in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park. Staring at them up close all I could wonder was: why were they cursed to be such ugly beasts? 🙂

    June 8, 2012 at 7:41 am

    • Thank you, Bob…and that is a good question…but they probably wonder the same thing about us. 🙂

      June 8, 2012 at 8:03 am

  4. How cool is that! Well done for getting the pictures Scott. They are beautiful animals. 🙂

    June 8, 2012 at 8:31 am

    • Thank you, Chillbrook…and I think they might be a combination of beautiful and ugly…so where does that put them…maybe handsome? 🙂 I enjoyed being so close to such large, wild animals in their natural environment…I think that is what contributes to their beauty to me….

      June 8, 2012 at 8:39 am

  5. Scott the shots are so beautiful..loved them

    June 8, 2012 at 8:56 am

    • Thank you, Soma. 🙂

      June 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

  6. David Patterson

    Beautiful animals… great experience. Always makes my heart beat faster when i see them.

    June 8, 2012 at 9:23 am

    • Thank you, David…it was a great experience…and being so close to them made my heart beat faster, too. 🙂

      June 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

  7. What a thrill it must have benn to have been so close to these animals. It’s a rare thing.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

    • It was a great thrill, Allen…truly. 🙂

      June 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm

  8. Ahhh… the thrill and the joy of the wild. It does get the heart to pumping.

    June 8, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    • Your title made me wonder if maybe we shouldn’t legislate some more protection of marriage here?? 😉

      June 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      • Oh, yeah, Gunta…that’s what we need…more rules on hook-ups and living arrangments!

        June 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm

        • I just had this feeling you’d agree with that 😉 I can just picture all the outrage now!

          June 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

          • I don’t want to imagine it. 🙂

            June 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    • Like a jump-start. 🙂

      June 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm

  9. Awesome encounter Scott, I’m very envious!

    June 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    • It was awesome, indeed, Finn…and I’m envious of you, too, with your wonderful collection of birds over there. I’ll be in the forest for hours and only see a woodpecker…that’s it…and I’m looking for them! 🙂

      June 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm

  10. Moose seem like very funny creatures, strange heads, we don’t have them here. You will have to practice your creeping skills, LOL 🙂

    June 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    • There is something ungainly looking about the Moose, Leanne…such large bodies and seemingly thin legs…and then the HUGE antlers on the males. And no, I guess you don’t have them in Australia…not much in the large mammal population over there. Yes, I do need to practice my creeping skills…badly! 🙂

      June 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      • Our native large animals all hop. 🙂 Creeping must be a hard thing to do, knowing how to move so you don’t make a sound. Could be a very useful skill though, especially if you want to do more wildlife. Good luck 🙂

        June 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm

        • Yes, they do hop, Leanne. 😉 And you’re right, creeping skills will be very useful photographing wildlife. I’ll let you know how it goes.

          June 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

  11. I am so envious! Amazing shots!

    June 9, 2012 at 5:15 am

    • Thank you, Madhu. 🙂

      June 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm

  12. What an exciting encounter Scott – I am so envious.
    You did well to creep up & get those photos.

    June 9, 2012 at 6:35 am

    • Thank you very much, Victoria…and it was very exciting. 🙂

      June 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm

  13. Fortunate encounter and especially fortunate to get within camera range! I see several every summer, but so far haven’t been able to get a good shot.

    June 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    • I feel very fortunate, Montucky…they were within yards of me…. I hope to see Elk sometime…have yet to, though, and they’re supposed to be around, as well…someday….

      June 9, 2012 at 10:55 pm

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