Wednesday, February 13, 2008

the visitor

ok, for those of you who haven't been obsessively checking the Yukon Quest website, Phil made it to the half-way point, stayed his mandatory 36 hours, and took off around 5 am this morning, with all remaining 8 dogs. the trail reports promise smooth sailing compared to the US portion of the trail, so my paws are crossed for him and all 8 of his dogs!!

speaking of paws, Nuchie had a little date with the vet to take off a nasty, but (thankfully) benign tumor and has had to lay low to let his paw heal. i couldn't stand for him to be a cone-head (if you own a dog, you know what i'm talking about...), so i worked from home most of last week to keep an eye on him.

on one of these rare days at home during the light hours, we got an unexpected visitor.

this is a yearling bull moose. Cob saw him loitering around the yard the other day with part of one of his antlers still attached, but he's now lost it, as you can see from the fresh blood just above his eye there. Bull moose shed their racks every winter around this time or a little earlier and then grow them back in the summer.

this guy is young and so is pretty small as far as moose go. this is probably his first winter on his own. we just emerged from a cold snap where we didn't see any moose around, but now that it's warmed a bit, they're starting to move again. these pictures were taken out my kitchen window where he was helping to clean up the old dried up trollius and delphiniums i left from the summer. see him down on his front knees? so cool....

he wandered around our deck sampling the rose bushes - i was less psyched about that since they come back every year. every year, that is, except when they get munched by moose. a moose biologist friend of mine once described a moose's eating habits as having to stuff a huge sack full of plants every day, so they spend a good part of every day foraging. hmmmm.....but here's a lesson in perspective.

Nuchie watches as his new buddy walks of into the rest of the yard making a beeline for the birch sapling we planted last summer. i had to draw the line there when he swept his great snout through the twiggy branches of our baby birch trees. i came hollering out of the house, the moose slowly turned to look at me and sauntered off across the driveway to the woods on the other side.

and to let me know what he thought of me and my hollering, he left this behind:

moose poop. hey, you're welcome for the dried delphinium and rose bushes. come back any time.

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