The end of the winter of 2017-2018 has been full of surprises in terms of snowfall and as the spring begins to take hold yet another surprise has bloomed. After seeing few moose during the fall and winter across the past two weeks this area is suddenly awash in the magnificent mammals! Never have I seen so many moose in such a short period of time and their sudden appearance has made for some ‘interesting’ times.
One of the things I love about Alaska, in general, and this area in particular is the abundance of large mammals. By far and away moose are the most common large mammals although we do see the infrequent grizzly, black bear, fox and wolverine. Moose are common enough that I have developed some habits related to their presence such as ‘jiggling’ the front door knob before opening the door when it is dark outside to give forewarning to the large critters that we are coming out. Even so, I’ve spooked a few moose whom were close to the front porch and decided to freeze rather than move off. The kidz are fascinated by the moose and have largely learned to steer clear of these huge ungulates but will watch them intently. Anana, my Alaskan malamute companion, has even tried very hard to encourage some moose to play. Bless her heart, at times she’s given almost every canine body language signal for play but remains befuddled when the moose do not respond. Sadly, she just doesn’t ‘cog’ to the fact moose have different body language…
Because of their presence I’ve been able to collect a lot of images of these superbly adapted mammals on the local roads and on my property. I can only guess the reason for their sudden appearance is based upon the voluminous snow events of latter February into early March which had given this area a 60” (152.4 cm) snow pack. With the ‘moose of March’ came a string of sunny days with high temps above freezing although overnight lows dropped into the low teens to single digits. This dramatically decreased the snow pack and, in so doing, saturated the remaining snow. With the cool overnight temps the snow will freeze and becoming difficult to walk through although not frozen solid enough to support the weight of a moose. Because of the difficulty in navigating these conditions the moose, being the opportunists they are, have taken to the nicely plowed back roads to travel. This, of course, makes them a lot more visible to we humans.
I’ve amassed a number of images from my recent encounters with these amazing animals; the following are but a few of said images:
The moose pix are wonderful and I’m glad you’re upbeat now 🙂
THANKS Gina! Things have improved dramatically for me across the past month and I’m feeling a lot better. I’m still taking 50 mg Sertraline/day and while I’m not a ‘pill person’ and really hate takings meds if doing this prevents a re-occurrence of the depression, or even just mitigates another bout, it is well worth it. I’m really enjoying all the moose; it is just one of myriad or wonders one experiences while living in ‘The Great Land’. Thanks for your kind words!
One can always feel a little better knowing those tourists who clog your roadways in a couple weeks have shelled out thousands of dollars with the hopes of seeing some moose and here you are greeted almost daily with moose encounters……
just another benefit of living in the ‘Great Land’!
Yep, the abundance of large mammals has always been a draw for me and Alaska provides such amazement…in spades!
So what was the red in the snow? Was the moose hurt? I used to see so many deer from my windows in NH but never a moose. One day I counted 13 deer sleeping and standing in the trees behind my house. I also had an upstairs window which gave me a good view. These photos are such fun. Thanks for sharing them.
Good eyes! Actually, the color is bright orange but due to the camera and the morning lighting the material appeared red. It is the remains of some of that plastic ‘fencing’ you might see around construction site barriers and similar. What you cannot see is the burn barrel which is buried in the snow. I had hauled out a portion of the fencing which had been mangled by either a moose or a bear last fall to the burn barrel intending to burn it as there’s no recycling available for such material up here. But I never managed to get the chore handled; when the snows came my neighbor, Roland, who plows my driveway with his front end loader managed to ‘unearth’ the material although for most of the winter it remained buried under the snow pack. Only with the recent melting did the fencing become visible once again. Thank you for your kind words; I may try to post some video of my moose ‘interactions’ this past March. I’ve never seen so many during previous springs!