For moose lovers, February in Montana's Centennial Valley is utopia. The moose seem to congregate into those 'easy-to-see' locations allowing for some great photographs and some fun moose-style entertainment. However, even those of us living in the heart of moose paradise are often only granted glimpses of our big (yet often shy) neighbors as they quickly head for the willows or a dip in the ground. Nonetheless, the last two mornings we have, quite literally, been buried in photo opps. What fun!
I know some of you think I'm crazy. I've had folks comment on the 'risks' I must take to capture a photo. To be honest, I rarely put myself anywhere near the front lines - preferring to allow the long lens to do its work.
However, I not only want to credit hubby's fine photo skills (he captured the first photo and the later photos taken at the resort), I want to make it clear - I did NOT get that close to the big bull above. That is not a cropped photo. He really did fill the frame. However hubby had a cabin to hide behind (and a long lens to keep some distance)!
The next several images were captured Thursday morning. Due to a neck issue, I tend to make the trip to the resort, settle in for the long haul, then pack it up and move it out whenever the snow begins to turn to mush. However, this year we were blessed by a visit from eight lovely (and I do mean lovely!) skiing ladies who needed transport from our staging point near Henry's Lake, Idaho. So, I crawled into my heavy winter gear, clamped on the helmet, straddled my motor on skies, and had a BLAST - viewing moose, enjoying the scenery, and just getting out of Dodge for a few hours! These were just a sampling of the eye candy.
Of course when you have moose neighbors you can occasionally find yourself in a moose traffic jam. One moose has already merged right. The other is something of a road hog. Having heard more than one story of a moose tackling a snowmobiler (and winning), we always give them the right of way.
Moose are not known for the friendly pleasant attitudes. In fact, they can be downright ornery - even to one another. This fellow is not at all happy with another big boy who, apparently, was invading his space.
Here is one more shot to wrap up that lovely moosey morning.
Such an amazing morning - and it was not over yet. Friday morning as dawn's light crawled over the ridge, we found two four-legged guests napping in our yard. One large bull lay in plain sight. Another younger bull hid behind the willow a few yards away. All the photo's which follow are to my hubby's credit.
If you are into moose dental examinations, take a closer look at the first and last photos in this series. These fellows have BIG mouths which they put to good work trimming our aspens.
As the light strengthened, hubby moved in for a few close-up shots. While his presence did not elecit much response, the big bull meandered south to the deeper snow around the cabins but the young bull debated his options. So nice of him to present some more nice photo opps.
One final photo of the big bull. Hubby peeked around the cabin corner to find himself nose-to-nose (not quite but it sure looked like it in this, another uncropped photo) with the big boy! Nice way to end a moosey photo opp!
Lady of the Lake