It is Moose Monday and today’s capture comes to you from the forests in Grand County, Colorado back in August. While the rest of my camping crew opted to sleep in, I headed up further into the national forest hoping to find Moose as we have seen them in this area before.
I went 7 miles up a dirt road without a single capture and then turned around. Finally, just a mile before camp, I see a big guy standing right in the road. When he moved off into the woods, I saw there was a second one. While one entirely ignored me, one did make sure to keep an eye on me.
A couple of weeks ago I came across this young one and its mama when both took me by surprise. There was a massive bull on one side of the road and as I walked along the road toward it and lift my camera to take a picture, I hear rustling behind me. Startled, I whip around to find the two of them on the opposite of the thick brush that lined the road.
While they took me by surprise, neither seemed to care much about the bipedal lifeform right near them. I of course backed off, giving all three a wide birth. Thankfully the young one stepped into a bit of a clearing allowing me to get this nice portrait. It had snowed the night before and more snow was falling at the time, hence it being so wet.
Rumor had it that the Moose in my favorite area had finally returned after spending the past month or so at higher altitude. The weather looked iffy at best but I could not resist at least making an attempt to see them Sunday.
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 – one of the big boys of the area.
Two cows were nearby and he was keen on keeping close watch on them. He was initially laying down, just taking it easy, but when one cow moved off, he stood to keep watch and gave me this nice capture.
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.
Well, my hope for Moose pics this weekend did not pan out at all so this one comes from early last month in the forest up above Grand Lake, Colorado. This young guy was chomping down on the young aspen trees and despite what appears to be intimidating pose here, he actually couldn’t have cared less about us watching him.
A little one for Moose Monday to bring a smile to the start of your workweek. This calf in fact seemed to revel in all the attention it was getting from myself and quite a few others watching it and its mom in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Kawuneeche Valley a few weeks ago.
I apparently had just missed seeing the pair play in a small creek. Soon after I arrived, mom decided the show was over and moved her charge off and into the forest away from prying tourists’ eyes.
One of the big boys of Colorado’s high country. This bull along with a few others were lazily grazing on the willows in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area last month.
It won’t be long now and they will begin shedding that velvet on the antlers. Once that happens, the annual rut will begin and the boys won’t be so inclined to play nice with each other. I’m anxious to get back up there in a couple of weeks and spend some quality time with them again.
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.
A very fun encounter with this handsome fellow late last week in Arapaho National Forest. My family and I were riding ATVs on some old forest roads enjoying the gorgeous views and cool temperatures of the high country. At one point my son and I pulled over to wait for my wife and daughter to catch up.
Just as I turned off my ATV, I thought I heard the loud snap of a tree branch breaking but looking to my right, I wasn’t seeing anything. Then, my son said those words and I see he is looking the opposite way.
Sure enough, this big guy was not 30 feet off the road, calmly munching on some aspen trees. We see Moose in this area frequently so it wasn’t a surprise but it was fun to just happen to stop right by where this bull was.
I slowly got off my ATV and grabbed my camera from the storage box on the back and began taking pictures. Soon my wife and daughter arrived and we all just sat and watched him. The bull couldn’t have cared less about our presence as it continued to happily eat away while watching us watching him.
Have a great, Moose Monday!
A prime example of how you really need to be aware when out in the wild.
There were a number of Moose bulls in the area and I was moving to try to get a better angle for my pictures. As I trudged along a faint trail among some willows I suddenly come across this big, big guy.
Unlike the other bulls that were standing up and eating, this one decided it was a nice place to relax and had laid down among the thick brush so I didn’t see him until I was within about 15 feet. Yikes! That is not something you want to do.
I slowly backed away to a safe distance, snapped one picture, and then let the sleeping bull lie so to speak.
A little bit of drama between these two, massive Moose bulls. The one on the right had just swam across the lake (see my pics from last week) and was seeming to enjoy its time alone when another bull arrived. It did not appreciate the intrusion and feigned an attack rushing toward the other. The interloper didn’t want the confrontation and ran into the water to get out the way. Very fun and exciting to see!
A fun sequence of images of something I had not personally witnessed before. I spent some time with this big guy and five of his friends in Roosevelt National Forest yesterday morning.
They spent most of the time within heavy cover preventing good pics. However, at the end of my visit one decided the other side of the lake looked nice and took the most direct route, wading into the water and then swimming across.
I have certainly seen Moose wade into the water but never actually swim so it was a special treat for me.