I am running behind in posting pics of these massive creatures that I have taken recently so here’s a bonus one for Moose Monday. See my earlier post for a clearer shot. This guy thought he was being sneaky. Apparently the best tasting foliage was right next to the road where I was watching him and three other bulls. With the steep drop off from the road, I couldn’t get a clear shot of him as he eased his way up, grazing along the way. Kind of makes for a fun pic.
An absolutely fun morning recently as we camped in Arapaho National Forest. The rest of my crew was more interested in sleeping in than wildlife watching so I headed off alone, going further into the forest.
I had oftentimes seen Moose in this area and this time was no different. Four bulls – three fully grown, one juvenile – were grazing next to a creek. Three of the four didn’t pay me any attention as I stood by my truck and snapped pictures.
One, however, was quite curious about me, routinely pausing his eating to look right at me and monitor me. Here, he had raised his head and gave me a nice look right into the eyes. In the end, I spent an hour-and-a-half with the group, just me and them, and it made for a very special day.
This past weekend I headed up to Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado looking for these cool creatures. Unfortunately there was only one and the light was at a premium. He didn’t want to wait for the sun to fully rise before heading off into the forest but was kind enough to give me some pretty nice captures.
This is just before he left the willing and disappeared into the trees. These guys are a lot of fun and thankfully, getting more and more abundant here in the Centennial State. Soon the rut will begin and you will want to keep your distance, even more so than usual.
My photo excursions this past weekend didn’t quite go as well as I had hoped. Wildlife proved to be elusive on one day and the weather with thick cloud cover problematic on Sunday.
This image comes from yesterday in Rocky Mountain National Park. I spotted this handsome fellow as he moved with purpose along a tree line in view but too far away for decent pics. I anticipated he would be coming to a spot where a dirt road intersects and sure enough, he did.
The dim, early morning light was inhibited further by thick clouds over the valley so most of my pics were quite disappointing. I did manage this one when, for a very brief instant, the sun broke through and shed light right where the bull happened to be.
I haven’t done a Moose Monday in a while so here you go.
Taken last August in U.S. Forest Service Arapaho National Forest. We had stopped along a back country dirt road to take a break and while we were sitting there, we hear rustling. He didn’t want to make himself visible and we didn’t want to intrude but I did get a few glimpses of him thanks to my big lens.
Moose are the largest member of the deer family although the sub-species we have here in Colorado, the Shiras moose, are the smallest of moose sub-species. That however does not mean they are truly small. They can stand six feet tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 1,200 pounds! You cannot begin to appreciate their size until you are up close with one.
One for Moose Monday. I am finding myself very anxious to get back to the #olorado high country and find some of these beautiful, massive creatures. Last September was my most recent opportunity and, unfortunately, my next chance will have until there is warmer weather and less snow at altitude.
Until then, I will reminiscence using pictures like this one from July 2nd last year. It was a fantastic morning spent with six bulls, two cows and one yearling. Here, one of the big boys grazes on tall willows away from the rest of the Moose – and away from the photographers.
Taken in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area.
Here’s one that I somehow never shared and a good one for Moose Monday. Taken back on August 4th. This calf and its mom were hanging out in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Kawuneeche Valley.
They had just finished having some playtime in a little creek and were getting ready to move into the forest to escape the hordes of tourists (and photographers). Mom was trying to move along but this little one seemed to revel in all the attention, seeming to pause and make sure everyone was watching and in turn making me very happy.
It is Moose Monday and since we are getting some much-needed snow here on the Colorado Front Range today, this seems like an appropriate image to share.
This was actually taken back on September 24th during one of the first decent snowfalls to hit the high altitudes here. The weather looked iffy at best but I could not resist at least making an attempt to see them before winter weather arrived in earnest.
At 10,000+ feet in altitude I knew it would be cold and fresh snow had fallen. There was some welcome sun initially but soon the clouds descended bringing a thick fog and snow began to fall again. It was then that I finally found what I sought.
This big fella had laid down not far off the road but well hidden from view. Had I not opted to hike into the forest for a look beyond the road, I would have never seen him. The fog and dim light made for tough shooting conditions but I was happy as heck not only to have spent time with him but also to have captured my first ‘moose in snow’ pictures.
Taken in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area of Colorado.
Harkening back to the first weekend in July. This guy and a number of other, bigger bull Moose were hanging out at this high country lake. For the longest time they stayed well concealed with the thick bushes next to the water and I was about ready to give up on getting a clear shot. Finally, they moved down to the water’s edge giving a nice, unobstructed view.
As much as I would love to photograph these guys in the winter, I am not too keen on the harsh weather conditions at altitude this time of year so I will be anxiously awaiting the summer when I can see them again.
How big is a Moose? Big enough to block a full lane of roadway. 😉
It is Moose Monday and I share this image not because it is particularly great artistically but rather because it does a great job demonstrating just how big these guys are. Unless you have seen one and been relatively close, it is hard to appreciate their sheer size. Needless to say, they are massive.
Moose are the largest member of the deer family although the sub-species we have here in Colorado, the Shiras moose, are the smallest of moose sub-species. That however does not mean they are truly small. They can stand six feet tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 1,200 pounds!
When this guy wanted to cross the road on this cold, foggy morning back in September, you can bet I gave him a very wide berth.