Monday, September 7, 2009

Moose Tales!

The beginning of September is always a festive time around Robert Frost’s Banjo central—not only does my birthday fall then, but also our wedding anniversary. Since the actual date of both (the second) fell on a busy day in the middle of the week, Eberle & I decided to celebrate on Friday with a canoe trip up the North Fork of the Payette River.

The North Fork is a
peaceful & lazy stretch of water that begins where the river flows into Payette Lake north of McCall. It's an added attraction that the North Fork is closed to all motorized boats, so it’s quiet & safe (of course, on a summer weekend it can be pretty crowded with canoes & kayaks!) Fortunately, we got there mid morning, before the holiday weekend rush, & at many points had the river mostly to ourselves.

Besides the beautiful scenery, there’s a lot of wildlife. While this section of the North Fork isn’t all that far from civilization, it’s not all that far from some serious back country either. Because of this, one animal that can be seen on this river is moose—an animal I’d never seen in the wild.

Eberle & I were rowing along, enjoying the beautiful sunshine & the peaceful river when we came around the bend & saw what looked to be two large stumps with ears. In fact it was a cow moose & a young moose basking themselves in the sun on the beach of a promontory. We stopped paddling & started furiously taking pictures. The moose were quite placid; they finally got up & went into a grove to eat; when they disappeared into the trees we paddled around the point & found them on the other side—further away this time, but still in plain sight. They never seemed agitated by our attention—in fact on the other side of the point the cow moose was lying down quite peacefully, tho occasionally sniffing the air. The young moose continued to forage.

What a day! Unfortunately, somebody (me) forgot to charge the camera’s battery, so after about 90 pix it went dead—which means we don’t have pictures of the mink we saw or of the three beautiful mergansers that forged past us upriver. But we did take all the photos we could of the moose—here are the best of them (click to enlarge). Enjoy!

Two stumps with ears

A picture can’t really convey how massive these animals are

In profile—the young moose is almost the size of a horse!

It was amazing when they stood up—the cow moose’s body was like a draught horse in size, but with longer legs.

The young moose foraging around the point—you'll have to enlarge this & the next photo to see the moose.

The cow moose taking a rest

Up a lazy river?

A little more spectacular scenery


  1. Hi Jacqueline:

    Eberle & I both feel very fortunate to have had the chance to see them!

  2. There is a law which states that when you forget to fully charge the camera battery you see the most amazing things. But you did manage to capture some wonderful sights.

  3. Congratulations on your anniversary and the great moose spot!

    I've seen four moose in the wild, all in Wyoming. Two of them were bulls in full gallop. Believe me, you don't want to me in front of those guys when they're on the move.

  4. You used the most apt word yourself: spectacular - as is the post. I began by feeling very foolish, though. For some reason your first picture took ages to appear, so long in fact that I began to think I was supposed to read the words, 2 or 3 to a line, down the left hand side as a poem!

  5. What a great day.
    Living up here in moose country NH & ME we see these behemoths fairly regulary...and they are strangely silent for being so HUUUGE.

    Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary.

    Nice that the moose showed up to help celebrate:)

    Peace - Rene

  6. Hi Alan, K, Dave & Rene

    Alan: Murphy's Law! Yes I know that one. But it wasn't a major problem--we did get all the moose photos we wanted, & that was the big thing.

    K: After seeing that moose, I'm thinking getting in the way of a moose probably equals getting in front of a Buick. Thanks for the good wishes!

    Dave: Thanks--now that opening paragraph would have made an odd poem even by my standards!

    Rene: I never spent enough time in the interior of Maine to see them there--my father did; he used to go salmon & trout fishing up there. I believe there are a few in Vermont's northeast kingdom, too, but again, didn't see them there. Thanks for your good wishes!

  7. What gorgeous scenery and what serendipity to find your moose, er mooses, er meeses! lol

    By the way, your Eberle looks so much like my friend Claudia that they could be sisters.

    Happy belated birthday and anniversary!

  8. Thanks Karen for all your kind words!

  9. John,

    Congratulations on these momentous events.

    Love this post and your blog.

    Were I a moose, I'd have taken a photo of those interesting canoe creatures going by...

    Tom Clark

  10. Hi Mr Clark:

    Thanks for stopping by--I've always enjoyed your poetry very much!

    Perhaps the moose also had forgotten to charge the camera's battery....


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