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forestgnome
02-08-2010, 07:38 PM
I was very happy to find a couple moose on my first hike in about two months yesterday. I was off-trailing on the northern slopes of the Sandwich Range at around 2,900' when I bumped into these two bulls grazing hobblebush buds, a favorite winter food. They let me hang with them for about an hour.

This is the bigger one...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_5704aaa.jpg




I was checking out snow depth, wondering if bear dens are effected by a lack of insulation...hope not. You can see the depth here is only about a foot and a half...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_5745aaa.jpg




You can see the reflection of the sun in his eye...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_5708aaa.jpg




mmmmm....hobblebush buds!

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_5728aaa.jpg




http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_5729aaa.jpg




http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_5725aaa.jpg




Here's the other younger bull, who stayed behind a few trees for the first half hour of my visit. He finally got used to my presence...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_5762aaa.jpg




http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_5772aaa.jpg




happy trails :)

KD Talbot
02-08-2010, 07:48 PM
Talk about comin' back with a bang!

Welcome back, Patrick, thanks for sharing!

KDT

Anna LeBlanc
02-08-2010, 09:10 PM
I've really missed seeing your photos Patrick.Thank you for bringing us back to nature.

How is everything going with your book?

_____________

Anna

1HappyHiker
02-08-2010, 10:12 PM
Terrific photos, as always! And, terrific moose! To my untrained eye, those guys look extremely healthy!!

It's wonderful to see a post from you after what seems like a very loooong absence!

KathyC
02-09-2010, 04:43 AM
Patrick, those are absolutely beautiful. Welcome back, I hope all is well...

forestgnome
02-09-2010, 05:44 AM
Thanks, all, for the nice words :D

The whole time I thought the smaller moose was a female. I thought it was a mating pair that has stayed together after getting pregnant to ride out the winter. The muzzle is very light brown, and through the trees I saw no beard nor any spots on the skull where the antler recently detached. But after it finally decided it didn't mind me and strolled out closer to me and the big bull I saw a small beard and small marks over the eyes. Cows do have small marks over the eyes, at the antler position, and the muzzle definately looks like that of a female.

Hmmm...we'll have to get 2alsces on the case...

forestgnome
02-09-2010, 06:01 AM
upon further review...I think my original thought was correct. The skull looks like it does not carry antlers. The skull of a bull has a distinct rise between the points where the antlers grow. This moose has no such rise. I think it's a cow, and a mating couple... waiting for 2Alsces to chime in...

forestgnome
02-09-2010, 06:50 AM
check out the shape of the skull where antlers would be on the obvious bull and then the moose in question...


http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_5708aaa.jpg






http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_5762bbb-1.jpg



The bull's skull has an extra something that appears to support the weight of the antlers. It's a girl, and a mating couple. D'oh!

CHRIS
02-09-2010, 06:50 AM
Fantastic shots Patrick. I also have missed getting my moose fix form you. How is the book coming along? Thanks for sharing.

Snow Miser
02-09-2010, 08:05 AM
Great moose photos Patrick. I always love seeing your work. Thanks for sharing with us.

Jimmy Legs and Little d
02-09-2010, 12:00 PM
Patrick,
It's good to see you are, once again, back in the woods. Beautiful pictures. Very interesting story about the moose.

Donna:)

JimS
02-09-2010, 12:07 PM
Just amazing pictures of another upclose and intimate encounter. It's great that you get so close and have them appear to continue so naturally about their lives.

These are all sharp, in great light with fine exposures. As good as any of your previous work!

Nice getting out aint' it!!

Charlie
02-09-2010, 07:15 PM
good to see your pictures again thanks for sharing ,happy trails this winter

mtruman
02-09-2010, 10:46 PM
Welcome back Patrick! Thanks for bringing your friends along with you. :)