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Tag Archives: moose

What a day! We’ve had many gray days and even rainy days, it seems like for the last two weeks or more. Around here, we are used to blue skies and bright sunshine reflecting off the cold, deep snow. Today was that day! The sunrise produced beautiful alpenglow on the mountains inviting us to explore on foot.

After agility practice (Willow watched), we headed for the hills above town and walked on a well-trodden path through the pines and out in the open. I looked at the road above us and saw movement. My brain went from what’s that, to is it a horse, no wait, that’s a moose! How cool! Moose occur nearly anywhere in the valley but are only occasionally seen. It’s always a treat. We crossed its trail and then followed its tracks back til we found the spot where it got on the path. There were also tracks of tiny creatures who had been out since yesterday’s fluffy snowfall.

Willow likes to lead the way but, so far, she doesn’t get out too far ahead. She is always turning back to see me and/or Sky. And today, she posed nicely with her big sister for portraits in front of the mountains. She is five months old and learning so much. Maybe she is a Good Girl, after all.

After a few days, the snow grew heavy and then it consolidated til we were limited to plowed and previously packed areas for getting around. Only one animal has moved gracefully through the deep and crusted snow recently.

We saw several moose while in Denali and in fact, had also seen them in Homer. They seem to be comfortable around people. The ones we saw in the park were near the road, the rv dump station and the visitors’ center. We were told to get away from moose if they pinned their ears back and looked at us. I thought they moved their ears back and forth quite a bit so am not sure I saw any angry moose or just twitchy moose (meese?). They are incredibly big and if I felt threatened by one, I would move out of the way as quickly as possible

Yellowstone is home to all manner of wildlife and we enjoyed watching lots and lots of animals in the snow. Our biggest challenges were moose, otters and fox. We did find one fox on our last day as we were leaving the park. We never saw an otter. And as we approached our friends’ house, south of Missoula, Brad jumped out of his car and began waving his arms like crazy. What? There was a cow/calf pair of moose in the pasture not a mile from their house. They weren’t in the park but we were happy to see them on our vacation to Montana and Yellowstone!

Yesterday we went for a ‘Sunday Drive’. All the dogs piled into the new car and we took some snacks and headed up the Chewuch River. Not too much snow up there so we had some nice easy walks. Two of the dogs are old and one is nearly lame so we all took it easy.

Our first stop was Falls Creek Falls – pretty in all seasons and some especially interesting ice forms this visit.

The Yellow Belly – Ponderosa Pines – are especially pretty in winter

Rosehips brilliant color and citrus taste make them especially attractive to birds. People enjoy them as well.

We saw two beavers on the Chewuch.

The fresh light snow was excellent for tracking animals. Here is a tiny one – maybe a vole?

And a moose. There were two sets – maybe a cow and calf.

And a big black bear. It walked along the road between when we drove up and when we returned. This was the second set of bear tracks we saw yesterday. I wonder when they will begin hibernating?

Lots of elderberries still hanging from the bushes. Do bears eat these?

And more beautiful rosehips

Ice on the Chewuch 

And the lonely snags from the 30 Mile Fire, ten years ago. Wind blowing through them made an eerie wailing sound. No doubt, these woods are haunted.

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