Saturday, July 4, 2015

Cow Moose, Pigeon River

During an afternoon adventure on the Pigeon River earlier this week we saw a plethora of wildlife.  Our list of sightings included deer, otter, beaver, trumpeter swans, many beautiful varieties of damselflies, several families of ducks and always a highlight of an outdoor adventure, a moose!  We came around a bend in the river and this cow moose was chest deep in the water feeding on the vegetation along the river's edge.  Luckily she was upwind of us and facing the other way so she was not immediately aware of our presence.  

We watched her feed for at least 10 minutes, then the wind started to change and she must have caught our scent because she turned and looked directly at us.  She stared at us for quite a while, then slowly walked up onto the bank on the side of the river where she stared at us for another minute or two, then turned and walked off into the woods.  As she retreated, we were just barely able to see the tops of another set of ears following her into the woods. She had a calf that had been waiting in the very tall grass along the edge of the river!  

It's always exciting to see a moose cow and calf, I just wish I would have been able to get a photo of the both of them.  Still, it's always a treat to see them even if I'm not able to get a photo.  Hopefully you are able to have some outdoor adventures on this 4th of July weekend and perhaps catalogue some fun wildlife sightings of your own!

FYI - This moose did have a tracking collar around its neck, as well as a tag in each ear.  I took several pictures that showed the collar and both tags, but in the end I chose to share this picture because you can not see the collar or the tags.  It seemed like a much more "natural" image because you cannot see the human influence on the animal.  I understand the activity of collaring the moose so we can track their movements and then use that data to better manage our lands for the benefit of moose, but I still prefer to make photographs of non-collared moose.  I feel fortunate to have been able to get this angle where you can not see those things on the animal.

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