Walking with moose

The deck off of our bedroom looks over the path that runs the length of Redwood Meadows towards the Elbow River.  A couple of days ago, I was looking out of the windows towards the water and I saw a large bump in a clearing in the trees just across the trail.  I ran out of the house with my 300mm lens to grab my tripod from my car and then walked up the rise.  I thought it was a moose and I was really excited to see a young cow laying down in the snow.  She seemed to be relaxing in the last sunshine of the afternoon.  With the long lens, I was able to stay a good distance from the moose and she was not upset having me nearby.  When their ears lay back and they keep their eyes pinned on you then you need to back away and possibly leave.  I try to keep that from happening so that they stay comfortable and I can spend some time with them.

After a few images, she stopped nuzzling in the snow and got up to nibble on the twigs and branches.  With her slowly walking westwards, I headed further down the path to the trail that leads down to the river.  My thought being that if the moose kept moving west, she would come to this path which would allow for unobstructed photographs with the opening in the forest.

Leaving the moose behind, I lost track of her for a few minutes.  I thought she might have headed through the forest north directly to the river but then I heard some rustling and soon saw her among the trees near the path.  Here she was munching on foliage and watching me.  I had set up in the middle of the path as I wanted her to see me and then choose whether to come closer or remain in the forest.  With moose, I prefer to make sure they know where I am as they can become stressed if you disappear then suddenly appear or create noise nearby (per the shutter on a camera).  She moved parallel to me and then crossed the small clearing and dined on the branches skirting the edge of the path.

Heading down the path, I thought she was going to the river but then she headed east, backtracking into the forest.  At that point, I thought she was gone for the day.  Evening was coming in quickly so I headed on to the river to see what the sunset might look like.  The last one I shot there in December was beautiful so it is always worth checking.  There wasn’t too much color to the west so I headed up one of the dried up channels of the river and was very happy to see my new friend once more.  She had toured through the woods and then headed to this arm of the river to continue grazing.

I didn’t follow her this time as she trekked through the snow, heading up another path to my house.  At the top of the trail, I looked for her and this is the last image I made with her heading north into a stand of trees towards the main part of the river.  Possibly to cross into the undeveloped forest there or to continue her eastward trek between the Elbow and our small community.

Moose are not a rarity around Bragg Creek, but this was the first time that I have seen a moose directly in Redwood Meadows.  A very special encounter with a beautiful animal.

10 responses

  1. Great pictures Chris. Looks like a good time

    March 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

  2. What a great place to live in! 🙂

    Love the pictures. The moose looks very cuddly.

    March 11, 2011 at 1:53 am

  3. SWK

    man, that is one HAPPY moose. Great pictures!

    March 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm

  4. Margie

    We were in downtown Kimberley late one evening and had just returned to our car when a moose and her calf ambled into view. We watched them for a few minutes while they watched us, apparently trying to decide if people inside a car were a threat. Eventually they ambled off, and we watched as they progressed up the street, criss-crossing back and forth looking just like they were window shopping. No photographs, unfortunately, just memories.

    March 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

    • What a great story. Thanks for sharing that. I grew up on the other side of the mountain from Kimberly in Crawford Bay – wildlife is always close by in those lands.

      March 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

  5. Carolyn -Redwood resident

    Chris,
    These are absolutely beautiful photos!
    It is always so wonderful to enjoy Redwood’s
    incredible natural beauty — thank-you.

    March 10, 2011 at 11:05 am

    • Hi Carolyn,

      We live in a great place – I’m glad you enjoyed these photographs.

      Chris

      March 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

  6. Wonderful collection! Looks like a great day with a new friend! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    March 10, 2011 at 11:03 am

  7. What a beautiful creature. You have caught her really well. sweet photos
    Much Love
    Astra Wally

    March 10, 2011 at 11:02 am

  8. Wow Chris, you really got up close with the pics of your new friend. The eyes are great in pics 4 and 5. Can’t decide if I like #4 or #5 better. I like the context in 4 with the plants and the little evergreen. I like the moose’s expression in 5.

    March 10, 2011 at 10:58 am

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