Yesterday morning I trotted through the forest, headed for the bay. As usual, I had an audiobook running on my personal device (see Voices in My Head) but only one ear bud in place, leaving the other ear free to monitor the woodland soundscape. When I turned at the witness post to cut over to the bay, I stopped the player and removed the bud. I made an effort to turn my awareness outward, suppressing the inward gaze I often indulge in when listening to recordings or walking in the forest. I had to be on the lookout for trouble.
A few days before, we heard that neighbors had been charged by a moose on our trail—not once, but five times! Their warning email received responses of other sightings. It’s calving time, and moose cows are at their most dangerous at this time of year.
Furthermore, my path led me along the same route where my neighbors had their run in. When I turned off that, I had to pass through an area that has long been known as a prime calving area on the peninsula. My story, as exciting as I found it, would have to wait until I got out on the water.
I carried a bait bucket to re-set our crab trap. I’d beached it last week, when I had no bait. The previous evening, I’d landed a 20″ Dolly Varden. It provided a couple of excellent meals for us, and lots of good remains for the crab.
I didn’t see any moose. My main nemeses proved to be the swarms of newly hatched mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and other biting insects. A recent rain followed by warm, sunny days has brought them out in force. The big, stupid mosquitoes of the early season have been replaced by the smaller kind. These seem far cleverer, and seem to have a nasty streak. They don’t just swoop in fast to bite, they appear to delight in psychological torture. I walked, canoed, and worked in a cloud of swarming insects the whole way.
If there are still any moose in the area (they range around a fair amount, it seems) they likely had bedded down for the day, quite possibly hoping to avoid these same swarms.