Over the past few years, we have seen an increasing number of moose near our home, which is located on a wooded stretch of Honeymoon Bay, Sylvan Lake. They obviously find the dense woods and proximity to water much to their liking.
We’ve watched bulls in hot pursuit of love, stood in awe as a defensive mother put the run on our big (and hitherto ever-so-brave) boxer, grabbed the binoculars to get a better look at gangly, buff-brown newborns, and are no longer surprised to see the current family of three — mother and yearling twins — munching on the laurel leaf willow by the back deck.
We always give these fascinating, ungainly and majestic wild neighbours a wide berth.
Though only once have we felt threatened; one evening last fall, when we stepped from a side trail into a clearing, we were alarmed to see a huge female thundering towards us.
She quickly veered into the woods when we shouted, so (when our hearts stopped pounding) we concluded that she must have been in flight, not pursuit.
I have spent more than a few hours trailing moose with my camera.
A telephoto lens allows me to maintain a reasonably safe distance, but their habit of feeding amidst the dense shrubbery makes it difficult to get a clear shot.
Watching them wade effortlessly through deep snow and rip the tips off 3-m high trees has given me a new sense of appreciation for these massive, amazing creatures.
Myrna Pearman is a biologist and site manager at the Ellis Bird Farm. contact her at email@example.com