Denali: Close encounters with a moose (Part III)

So a day or so later, in the evening (remember, don’t be fooled by Alaska’s 4 p.m.-looking 9 p.m.), I saw shoulder-scar moose again….but this time she had her spring calf with her. They were browsing willows near the Riley Creek Campground, and I had a front row seat from my car as she crossed the road, grazed around in the bushes, and headed into a brushy area where the calf nestled down on the ground. The funny part of this story–dang! why didn’t I think to photograph this?–was the small busload of visitors from Japan, who showed up when the cow and calf reached the thicket area by the campground, shot 80 million photos in three minutes with some of the most impressive camera lenses I’ve ever seen, and then boarded their private bus again before I knew what had happened. It felt like the moose paparazzi had flocked, photographed and finished before I even had my elbow stabilized on my car door to snap photos of the calf lying in the brush. And, oh, yes, the calf was so cute. He kept bucking and trying to butt heads with his mother, who was focused on grazing. Finally he just gave up and plopped down in the thicket. I, meanwhile, was in animal-watching bliss.

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5 Responses to Denali: Close encounters with a moose (Part III)

  1. Jathan says:

    Your storytelling is so crisp and thorough, and the photos so terrific, that I feel like you should be writing this for National Geographic Traveler. Funny how you keep running into the same moose there!

    • You’re too kind. Thanks for all the comments you’re posting! I’m so glad folks are having fun with the blog. I am, too! (Look how far I’ve come, Jathan. I’m like a techno-wizard now. Hahahaha. Yeah, OK, I won’t let my low-tech, glitchy success go to my head, I promise.)

  2. Cathy says:

    Jen: I am soooo jealous, as well as extremely happy for you that you are doing this. The photos are wonderful, and your descriptions just flesh out the stories the pictures tell. Jathan’s right, they should be on some site where lots of people can see them. You’ve been closer to moose and Dall sheep than 90% of the people who come to those parks, I’d wager, and then there are shots like of the gull that hardly anyone else would think to make.
    When you get back, are you going to try to train Hawk as a sled dog? Maybe that’s his true calling!

    • Hawk would be a perfect sled dog, for real. He’s got that whole crazy intensity thing going on, plus he loves to work. So if I moved to Alaska, I could get him a job on a sled-dog team, and then when he was off the gang-line, he could herd Dall sheep for fun. He’d be in herd-dog heaven.

  3. Wanda Irish says:

    Wow…these are great pictures! The little one is so cute…and I find it so funny that you got the moose walking down the middle of the road again! 🙂

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