A few evenings ago, we were all preparing for bed about 10:30. Spice, our cat, was going ape, meowing and tearing around the house. This isn’t unusual, as she tries to force us all to go to bed every evening when she decides it’s time, but this night was different—she seemed far more agitated than usual. Aly glanced out the window and found the cause: a couple of moose had entered the yard.
Until now, all of our moose encounters in the compound have come in the winter and spring. Those are dangerous times if the moose is a cow, accompanying an older calf, but not as perilous as a moose encounter at this time of year, when any calves are infants. When the newborns arrive, the mothers become incredibly protective, quick to attack if they perceive a threat. The moose in the yard this night was female, and she had a very young calf with her.
Baby moose are impossibly cute. They look as if they’re wearing bulky turtleneck sweaters. This one gingerly touched currant leaves with its nose, eyes wide and innocent. Our alarm at seeing a mother/child pair wandering around our yard competed with the thrill of seeing a baby calf at close hand.
They didn’t stick around for photos. Aly and I both grabbed cameras as soon as we saw them, but our movement in the window alerted the pair, and they left quickly. We’re glad that happened. I did not look forward to trying to convince them to leave. I blew a few blasts on our fog horn anyway. We don’t want them in the yard, especially when the garden’s full of juicy browse.
The word is that there are several cows on the peninsula with twin calves this year. That competition may have driven this cow to risk bringing her calf into our yard. Impossible to say for sure. At any rate, we’re even more alert than usual as we move about the property and hike the trails.