Moose to the Left, Moose to the Right!

We’ve lived at the Red House for almost 30 years. For the first 20 years, Moose were an urban legend as far as I was concerned. The neighbours all talked about them, but I never saw them. That changed in 2011 when a solitary moose made a dash across the back of our property. In 2012 I saw 3 moose behind the neighbours property and later, 5 moose grazing like cows in the field across the road. In 2013, 2014 and 2019 I saw between 1 and 3 moose behind our place – never stopping, just passing by.

This year we have seen moose four times in less than a week – and they are not in a hurry to be somewhere else.

Hello Grandma. I can see you in there, you know.

Last week a lone moose browsed it’s way past our house, stopping for a short time to look into the window. It was close enough that I had to back up a bit because my zoom lens wouldn’t focus on something that close. (The picture is a bit deceiving – the window is only 19 inches (48 cm) wide – probably not as wide as a moose is…)

Yesterday, I was bundled up in winter walking gear and was ready for a brisk outing when I realized that there was a moose between me and where I wanted to go. I watched it for a while as it chowed down on the willow, aspen and other assorted icy vegetation.

Same moose, head colour distorted by a bit of lens flare.

With my walk aborted, I suggested to The Car Guy that we take a trip to town for flu shots. That is when he pointed to the other side of our driveway – where two more moose were bedded down in the shelter of the woods.

Mother moose, calmly chewing her cud
Young moose, resting

Three moose, both sides of the driveway – with the possibility of a fourth moose (because we’d seen all four moose a few days earlier, though the mother and young one kept their distance from the other two moose.)

We decided a trip to town wasn’t going to happen. The truck was parked midway between us and the moose…

This all leads me to wonder – have the moose been using our woods as a winter retreat while we have been snowbirds in Arizona? Maybe this is their winter home and we are the interlopers!

(An aside story. I was curious as to whether a moose would go through a window. I could only find a couple references to such an event, one being in Maine where a moose went through the window of a vacant pizzeria. Local Police Chief Ryan Reardon said he had grown up in Maine (estimated moose population 76,000) and had been on the force for 26 years. That was the first time he had seen a moose go through a window.)

 

 

29 thoughts on “Moose to the Left, Moose to the Right!

    1. Good question, Dor. Moose can be very dangerous when they have young ones – especially if you get between the mom and the offspring. The mom and young one were close to our truck, on one side of the driveway (the only route to the road to town). The other moose was on the other side of the driveway – and we think it might be the yearling of the mother moose. It just seemed wise to stay away from them completely!

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  1. Awesome photos of those fascinating creatures. Only time I’ve seen a moose in the wild was a trip to Yellowstone and Montana. They are mesmerizing.

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    1. The novelty is starting to wear off. I can’t go for my regular walk through the woods and I can’t get out to the road where I normally walk every morning.

      They are not at all concerned by vehicles driving by and today I yelled at them and waved my arms about. They just looked at me like I was deranged.

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  2. Wonderful pictures.  Like the change in wildlife.  Definitely much bigger than the javelina through our yard. Nice to see the snow (at least in a picture). Hope to see you and the Car Guy  in a couple of months. Your AZ neighbors. Sent from Samsung tablet

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  3. The Colorado Wildlife people say that moose should be avoided if possible and that they will become aggressive if bothered. I think any animal that has young ones will be that way.

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    1. Good advice!
      I really would like to avoid them and had hoped they would try to avoid us, but no such luck so far. They are very calm, and pretty much just want to rest in the woods and eat the bushes.
      The mom and sub-adult are female. The young one is too young to know what it is. There is a fourth female sometimes. No male in sight and rutting season is over up here. I’m hoping they will eat themselves out of house and home soon and move to another location…
      They were all east of the driveway today, so we were able to safely get to the truck and go to town… strange times, but seems to fit with 2020 as a whole.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think your theory that they’ve been there every winter while you’ve been gone is a good one. The problem is they are so big if they do get nasty … I wouldn’t tempt fate on that one. Beautiful though. cheers

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    1. They are quite beautiful and have quite friendly faces… I’d be much more concerned if a family of bears had moved in – or wolves. Fortunately neither lives anywhere near here.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. They probably hang out in your yard every year and likely think YOU are the interlopers this year. LOL! Good luck getting out and about with them hanging around (although just to have them there would be awesome, IMO!)

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    1. Yes, another once in a lifetime event. A few years ago it was the Great Horned Owls in the tree by the house. A few times it has been the robin nesting on the electric meter right by the door. In all cases, we altered our movement patterns, though we eventually discovered that once they realized we posed no danger, we could go back to life as normal. I expect the same is true for the moose. We live in an area with small and large acreages and farms. The moose clearly are not uncomfortable about living among us.

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      1. I was surprised about that – they looked inquisitive and velvety looking faces. A fellow blogger is from Finland and he sent me a post he had done awhile back where he and his wife stayed at a cabin in the woods and reindeer were looking in the large windows at them. Curious about the humans perhaps?

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  6. Wow — you have some amazing pictures there! I don’t think we’re in Moose territory here. We’ve seen deer, raccoon and lately foxes, and neighbors have reported seeing bears, but we never have. (Not saying I want to!)

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  7. The head of a moose looks more like a horse than I ever realized. I thought they were big and bulky all over but your photos from the front make them look almost friendly. I know better, of course. We saw one in Alaska and even from a distance I was intimidated. They’re probably faster than they look? I don’t blame you for keeping your distance. Our local news carries a moose story every now and then – people who think they can pose for a selfie and end up in an ambulance. What are they thinking…

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    1. I suppose that could be possible. Glad our moose are all female and rutting season is over!
      Your observation reminds me of a pheasant we had around here a few years ago. It used to attack the shiny silver bumpers of our cars – once even chasing a car up the road…

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