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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Moose in the Yard

A delightful shock to see a big cow moose and her calf pass close by the window today, heading directly to the large weeping willow in the front yard. A cow moose typically weighs 200–360 kg (440–790 lb). When I was growing up here, we never saw moose, but with the regrowth of forests in the area, among other environmental improvements, they're back. Being solitary creatures, the strongest bond is between the mother and her calf. She won't chase this one away until she's ready to give birth again. Although generally slow-moving, this moose would most likely become aggressive and quick-moving if one of us came between mother and child, so we photographed them from the safety of the house. If a moose becomes habituated to being fed by people, it may act aggressively when denied food. So, no point in tossing out last autumn's shriveled apples - I might start something unpleasant. Like other wild animals up here, we give them plenty of space. In the 19th century in Sweden there was a debate regarding the national value of using the moose as a domestic animal. Among other things, the moose was proposed to be used in postal distribution, and there was a suggestion to develop a moose-mounted cavalry. But, hunting the moose gave more gratification, nearly driving it to extinction, so those ideas were short-lived. Not much you can do with moose, except eat 'em or admire 'em.

2 comments:

  1. I am enjoying reading The Wolf's Sun!

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  2. I have only seen a moose at a distance once, in Maine, and it was magnificent. You are lucky to have seen them up close! Have you read Elizabeth Bishop's poem The Moose? I didn't know that they were solitary--that's interesting.

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