Thursday, August 16, 2007
This trip to Tony Grove not only gave us a chance to enjoy the mountains, walk around the lake, and see an incredible number of stars, but we also got to really enjoy our animal neighbors. Not only were there the usual squirrels, woodpeckers, hawks, fish, ground squirrels (or as Jessie calls them, "chipsquirrels," since they look kind of like chipmunks with long tails), and so forth; but we also were favored by several moose. Marina and Jessica were all for getting up with their grandfather before 6 a.m. to go fishing, so I agreed to go along as crowd control (I didn't get a license this summer). The girls and their grandpa were ready before I was, so I told them I'd catch up. As I was tromping merrily along my way down toward the lake, I suddenly was brought up short by a snort in front of me. Not twenty feet in front of me stood a moose. No, make that THREE moose: one bull and two cows. Can I just say I haven't been that scared since I don't know when? Not that I'm particularly scared of moose as a general rule, but I have a healthy respect for their size and power. And besides, ever since I was thrown from a horse when I was eight and saw hooves waving above my head, I've also remembered how sharp hooves look. Needless to say, I definitely gave them a wide clearance. Later, as the girls were fishing and catching fish as fast as my dad could cast the lines out practically, it was fun to hear the moose call to each other across the lake. We even saw one come down into the lake at one point! (It's that dark speck in the middle of the tree picture . . . all my other shots of the three together were way too dark! Blow this one up and you can kinda see it.)
To cap it off, when we got back to the trailer where my mom was, she told us she thought she'd felt something brush the trailer on the end opposite where she was. And there, under that far wing of the camper were prints that looked suspiciously like the split hoof of a moose. Fun times!