August 2, 2012

Maine Moose

A recent back-country hike in the woods led me down an old path. Four miles in and mid-way up a small hill I sat down to take a breather. I stripped off my pack and placed it at my side. Sipping from my Camelbak, I heard the footsteps of what sounded like an elephant approaching at 200 yards. Glancing from left to right revealed nothing but pine and spruce trees. Exactly at the peak of my curiosity, a cow and her calf appeared from beyond the horizon. Within a few short moments the two were in clear view; their silhouettes boldly standing out against the blue skyline.

The bustling of me opening my hiking pack, to grab my camera, quickly drew their stare. Side by side they peered down at me across the field. I rushed to adjust the camera settings in hopes of a perfect exposure and began snapping away. I grew up in this area and have seen many a moose, but this was special. 

It was apparent with each step the cow took that her front right leg had been injured. Perhaps the injury occurred while defending herself, or her calf, against a small pack of coyotes. No matter how it happened, the limping made you feel for the wild beast as she tendered it with every forward step. The two soon ignored my presence and continued onward toward their destination. I feel lucky to have been in the right place at the right time. You simply never realize the joys you'll encounter in the out-of-doors until you put yourself there.


Sarah said...

What a special moment. Great photos. Does she look skinny to you?

- Sarah H.

Rhon Bell said...

It truly was a mild winter up North this season, so it's tough to say whether or not she was unable to find enough food.