Following Otter, Meeting Moose

Early yesterday morning, as I dreamed of following deer over the knoll, moose visited the yard again. A cow and calf came through the dooryard, revisiting the birch saplings other moose had eaten earlier and wiping out the small cherry tree by the rhubarb patch. They took a nibble of one of our two large cherry trees, then spent some time in the garden, where they pooped a good deal (at least it’s compost!). Michelle may have scared them off when she went out for her morning necessary visit.

Mama moose gives us the eye from her vantage point above us. (Mark Zeiger photo.)

Later in the morning the three of us hiked up the ridge to where Michelle and Aly had found some tracks on the way home the day before. An otter had crossed our trail and took a wandering, tummy-sliding tour of our big rocks before passing behind the knoll and heading down toward the neighbors. As we followed the winding trail, we found the moose. They stood higher up on the knoll, browsing and watching us through the trees.

The calf is a cow, almost as big as her mother. She hung back in the trees, browsing with her back to us, while mama kept a close eye on us. We stood and watched them for a bit, took some photos, then continued following the otter trail.

We looked the older cow over to try to tell if she’s pregnant, but couldn’t tell for sure. We hope so, even though a cow with a young calf is a dangerous neighbor.

We enjoyed the encounter, because we were far from our garden and fruit trees, and well off the trail, so we had no territorial issues, nothing at stake. We could look at the moose, then move along. Hopefully, they felt the same way.

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