Why Did The Moose Cross The Road?

Cow and calf strolling through the woods. Shiras Moose – Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

 

Life these days are about finding simple pleasures.

Earlier this week I ventured out to find the local moose at sunrise, as I normally do when I’m at the cabin. The primary activity lately has been from a couple of cows and their calves. There’s one cow that has twins and she keeps them fairly tucked away in the woods. Closer to the village, a mother and her single calf have been frequenting the woods near my place and it hasn’t been difficult to find them in short order.

Still sipping coffee, I made a quick run to the two areas I felt most likely to find the critters, and after about 10 minutes of poking around with no luck, I elected to go to a third location on the other side of the village in hopes they might be lingering in the open.

Much to my surprise, I’m driving along the road towards my place when I spot the obvious silhouette of the mother moose standing in the middle of the road at the intersection of my street and the main highway. She was standing in the road looking back over her shoulder off to my right at the side of the road where her calf was trying to get over a fence to join her.

Moose Cow and Calf crossing a highway.
Leading her calf across the road near my cabin.

I could almost hear her talking to the calf. “Come on, just jump over the fence and lets get going”  The calf was anxious and made it through the fence with little effort. Momma moose then proceeds across the road with calf in tow, into the field near my house, where they stop to browse the bushes for a quick breakfast snack.  I pulled off to the side of the dirt road leading to my cabin and sat and watched. The sun still wasn’t up but it was getting lighter by the moment. The dawn sunshine hit the field beyond the pair and began its slow creep toward the two. A few moments of browsing and they were done. Mother moose decided to take the calf into the woods in the direction of my cabin so I pulled the SUV off the roadside and drove on down the road running parallel to them. By now they had vanished into the woods. I know those woods quite well and there’s a marshy pond on the far side of the woods they were moving through so I figured I’d just drive on down the road to where that pond was and see if they were anywhere to be found.

As I crept along the dirt road near the pond, the two were coming through the woods directly towards me. I stopped and fired off a few frames from the Nikon D810 as they crested the small hill above the pond, almost directly in front of me.

Mother moose didn’t blink and eye and she led her calf right to me and across the road into the woods behind my cabin.  The end result, I got a good 30-40 minutes of early morning camera time in close proximity to these two lovely neighbors.

Why did the moose cross the road?

So I could get photos.

Middle Of May

Photograph of a mule deer doe in the woods
Mule deer doe foraging for fresh Spring grass in Red Feather Lakes

Back home after opening up my cabin. We opened up a little earlier than normal this year, mainly to take advantage of the good weather and to allow us wiggle room for upcoming May events, Mother’s Day, graduations, Memorial Day weekend, things like that.

I have a few loose ends to tie up with the cabin. It appears that our hot water heater needs replacing. The old one is over ten years old and has suffered enough. The next trip to the village will be to get that issue resolved.

The wildlife is going strong though. In just a few brief outings near Red Feathers, I’ve already spotted plenty of moose and deer. We have bald eagles in the area along with the normal assortment of hawks and waterfowl.

On the home front, we’ve completed most of our Spring projects and I’ve actually mowed the lawn twice to keep up with the rapidly greening grass and blooming trees.

Winter’s grasp has loosened and I’m looking forward to sharing my upcoming adventures in photography from the edge of the map.

Stay healthy and happy.

The Road Moose Travel

photograph of a moose next to a mountain dirt road
The Road Moose Travel

The 2018 moose photography season is off to a good start.

My first morning of hunting for moose after opening my cabin and I didn’t have to go far to ring the bell.

I was on my first cup of coffee when I headed out the door to scout the area around the village and to my surprise the moose were present in force less than a mile from my place.

I wasn’t prepared either. I normally configure the camera and have it sitting on the front seat of the truck. Well, it was on the front seat; however, I had not yet bothered to take the lens cap off and set the exposure for the early morning light. Driving down the pot-holed road from my cabin, my attention this early in the day, was limited to keeping my too full cup of java from sloshing around and burning me when it spilled. I slowed down long enough to get control and to my surprise there was a moose already in view. Moving rapidly across an open field, I knew where she was headed.

Another 30 seconds of driving and I had reached Dead Man road. An area where the moose funnel out of the Laramie Mountains and into the more open woodlands around Red Feathers.

Of course, seeing the moose and getting a good photo of a moose are two different things.

I stalked out a position along Dead Man road and waited for this young bull to come to me. When he poked his head from the budding willows, I was ready for him.

Dead Man. The road moose travel.

Doobie’s First Overnight Visit To The Cabin

Photograph of a dog jumping off a rock by a lake
Doobie playing in the rocks along the shore of Lake Apache

Doobie made his first overnight visit to our cabin in Red Feathers this past weekend.

Lots of new things seen, heard and smelled these past few days. His senses were overloaded I think.

He’s not a water dog, which isn’t surprising. His personality is very much like that of our old dog Buddy. His favorite activity, running like a bat out of hell and leaping over, onto and between things.

There are no shortages of places for that in Red Feathers.

Breakfast And A Moose

Fresh Moose

Out at 6 am to scout for moose this morning. Our first morning of the year here in Red Feather Lakes.

I found the first of 5 less than a quarter mile from the cabin. They are looking healthy and are all around the village looking for forage.

This young bull was uninterested in me and strolled past my suv without giving me any mind.

Moose be good.

Doobie Digs It

Doobie
Doobie’s First Road Trip

Doobie made his first road trip today.

We made the run from Littleton to Red Feather Lakes to check on the cabin and we decided to give the Doob his first extended outing to see how he would handle a long drive.  It’s a 2.5 hour drive one way, so 5+ hours in the back seat of a Ford pickup truck should put him to the test.

Red Feather Lakes by Gary Gray
Our Cabin in Northern Colorado

The Doob did well. No car sickness, no barking, no problems.  He seemed to enjoy the ride, though he was a little nervous at first. He’s never been anywhere but the neighborhood and Vets office before.

As you can see, there is still plenty of Winter left in Spring in Northern Colorado.
Doobie the Dog by Gary Gray

Doobie Plays in the Mountain Snow. His first visit to Red Feathers.

Doobie digs it.

Moose Monday

Moose Photography by Gary Gray
Twins

These two young moose twins were hanging out near my cabin one May morning a couple of years ago.

Life in Red Feather Lakes is not boring. From May through October, the moose move freely through the village and often stop to spend some time browsing the local plants.

For this shot, all I had to do was get the camera and not spill my morning coffee. The camera part worked out okay.