This morning I took the dogs up to Happy Jack to walk the trail that runs by a series of beaver ponds along Pole Creek which have been constructed over the years. I saw what looked like fairly fresh moose poop right on the trail. Moose poop is easily identified. It looks like rabbit pellets only it is about the size of the first joint of my thumb. If you smash a pellet open, there is what looks just ilke sawdust on the inside. Moose eat lots of willows and the sawdust is what’s left after it has been processed. I think the mooose must not have been long gone because the dogs keep circling around and stay a long time in the willows.
A couple of months ago, we spotted two moose in the willows on the far side of one of the ponds. The prevailing southerly winds kept our scent and any sounds we made away from them, so we got to watch them for a while. It is always exciting to see moose because it happens so rarely. Mosse are usually very shy and timber up during the day.
Moose are shy. They are also usually solitary. You may see a cow and calf or maybe twins, but it is very unusual to see several moose in the same spot. Last fall Konza and I saw a group of five up in the Snowies right along the highway. Of course I got very excited and took many pictures. Thank goodness I had the camera along.
The group consisted of a bull, a cow, what looked like a previous year’s mostly grown calf and twins from this year. There was another bull laying down in the willows on the other side of the flats.
This is the bull. Moose are huge, ungainly looking animals. However, they can move quickly when they need to. Like most animals they would rather avoid confrontation, but will charge if threatened. Their kicks are vicious.
I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the fourth moose in this group. Here’s the best I could do. I think that this was an older calf. I don’t know much about moose rut habits, but don’t imagine the other bull which was much larger would have tolerated this one if it wasn’t part of the family. It is in the center of the picture looking right at us.
As I mentioned there was a fifth moose on the other side of the flat. He seemed to be unpreturbed, just relaxing and chewing his cud.
One of the silly things we do when we see a moose is recite Arlo Guthrie’s poem about moose.