When this gal showed up for the second time in a week yesterday morning, I had a camera. The photo isn't that great, but when a moose is on the loose in the country, caution is often a plus.
And, when you've been chased by a moose----in your car----both caution and respect rule the day.
Yes, years ago one summer morning back when our neighbor and friend, Connie, was still cleaning our house on a weekly basis, I loaded up the kids in the Dodge Caravan and took off for a drive.
The idea was to be gone during the two hours while Connie was working in our house.
We headed up Grouse Creek northeast of Sandpoint.
When we arrived in the big meadow just before the turn-off to Grouse Falls, I looked to the left and saw a mama moose standing off by the trees with her baby.
In those days, my camera had a limited range, so I whistled at Mama Moose in hopes she'd at least look my way for her portrait.
Well, Mama Moose put her head down and launched into a gallop our direction.
I quickly opened the car door, set my camera down, and gunned the motor.
That old van did not have a lot of get-up and go at that moment, but Mama Moose sure did.
As she was closing in on us, the van seemed to crawl down that road.
Fortunately, all the cylinders finally took hold, and we moved on down the road with just enough time to stay ahead of Mama Moose.
That incident scared the dickens out of me, so much so that when we returned several minutes later through that meadow, I already had the pedal to the metal before hitting the straight-away.
Thankfully, Mama Moose had left the area.
I thought about the Grouse Creek incident yesterday as while trotting down the driveway with my camera, but one item was missing from this moose scene.
This rough lookin' gal had no kid to protect.
She actually seemed pretty docile, finally trotting off toward Gary Finney's woods and jumping high enough to spare his fence.
I knew she was out there when I walked out the door---not because of dogs barking but because of horses looking intently at something across the road.
The flock of turkeys, which Kea discouraged from coming into our yard last fall, has spent the winter in Gary's woods, occasionally coming over to Taylor's field.
So, I thought it was turkeys holding the horses' attention at first, but then I spotted the big brown body in Taylor's field across the road.
She AND the dogs were staring back at the horses.
There seemed to be a three-way stare-down in full progress, allowing me time to go back in for the camera.
Now, taking moose pictures seems to have become a cottage industry here in the Sandpoint area, especially town-moose pictures.
I'd estimate that each week at least five out of every six local newspapers (we don't get a paper on Monday) have a photo of what are probably the same three moose.
A mama and her babies have enjoyed a winter-long photo shoot, mainly in the west side of Sandpoint's residential area.
This gal feels no need to protect her young, which are almost as big as she is.
I did hear, however, that the school administrators have felt the need to protect their young a time or two when the trio shows up on the playgrounds.
Kids just hate it when they have to stay inside for recess and can't go out to play with the wildlife.
I'm sure the teachers hate it also when the wildlife cause the kids to have to stay inside for recess.
Anyway, I felt a need to take a picture of our country moose, just to let folks know that they're still inhabiting the "wild" areas as well as downtown backyards.
I'm just hoping our neighborhood moose doesn't hang around for too many photo ops.