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forestgnome
08-07-2010, 10:03 PM
Exact location witheld even though I don't think hunters would go this far...

I went for an afternoon hike to photograph a particular patch of fireweed that I expected to be in bloom. About half way up the trail I heard a moose blow. I paused and then heard it again. Yay!!! Into the thick forest I went and found a huge cow and two new calves. I hung out with them and let mama get used to my presence. I followed them until I anticipated they would pop out onto a ski trail. This would be a great place to watch them and get a clear picture, so I swung around to the ski trail and waited until...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_2745aaa.jpg



...they came out and for the next 3 hours I enjoyed them. I think the calves are both bulls judging by their behavior, but I don't know enough about that. They immediately started roughhousing around, rearing up and throwing punches at each other...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_2791aaa.jpg



Here's a nice look at them learning to pin their ears and look mean...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_2814aaa.jpg




http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_2823aaa.jpg




It was great watching the kids play; it went on and on...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_2845aaa.jpg




When mama tried to lay down and take a break they both ganged up on her...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_2869aaa.jpg




boys will be boys...someone looks offended...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_2892aaa.jpg




In this picture mama has just taken a right hook to the face. She wasn't fazed. I think she's used to it...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_2896aaa.jpg




After a while they started to settle down and mama layed down again for a break...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_2908aaa.jpg



Eventually it was time for rest. As soon as they laid down I did the same. I try to mimic their behavior as much as possible in an effort to get them to relax and accept my presence. So we were all laying around on a beautiful summer afternoon on Mt. Washington...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_2982aaa.jpg




http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_3019aaa.jpg





http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_3073aaa.jpg



I've learned that this is the sleeping position. They lay down and rest often without sleeping. But when they sleep they lay their head back on their tummy. The calves are actually dreaming. This is the second time I've seen moose dreaming. Their bodies and faces were twitching just as a dog does when dreaming. It was a very special thing to witness...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_3152aaa.jpg




http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_3153aaa.jpg



http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_3159aaa.jpg



Despite what some idiots say, moose are very aware of their surroundings. I was quiet as a mouse, watching them when all of a sudden they all looked in one direction yet I heard nothing at all. Something caught the attention of all three all at once, yet I didn't hear anything at all. They have very keen senses...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_3188aaa.jpg




http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_3223aaa.jpg




a calf stetches after a long nap...

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_3228aaa.jpg



Both calves got up and started grazing their way up the trail while mama stayed down. I started to follow the calves because I wanted a nice picture of them in the wildflowers. I called mama to come along and I wondered why she just stayed their as we went up the trail. I expected her to get up and follow, and being between her and the kids I kept an eye on an escape route into the trees, but she just watched the three of us go up the trail.

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/forestgnome/IMG_3243aaa.jpg


happy trails :)

CHRIS
08-07-2010, 10:11 PM
Patrick these are absolutley amazing. They are such beautiful animals. I would love to sit there and watch them as you did. Thank you for capturing them and sharing them with us.

BAXTERCA2
08-07-2010, 10:19 PM
Patrick ~ This set of pics and the story are just amazing. Thank you for sharing, you must of had a great time watching and taking the pictures. #9 as my favorite of the set.

Brad
08-08-2010, 07:09 AM
Absolutely staggering. What an experience.

JimS
08-08-2010, 08:02 AM
Those are incredible...the interaction when they were lying down is fantastic. A few of those will do VERY well for you!

Favorites... #9 and the third from the bottom!

Great Guinness Ghost
08-08-2010, 09:22 AM
Fantastic shots! Thanks for sharing.

Charlie
08-08-2010, 09:22 AM
Patrick you keep out doing your self with how you become one with them that they except you as one of them .i hope you can re join them again to see how the boys grow up
thanks for taking us along with you on your family outing

gerardfogarty
08-08-2010, 09:38 AM
Awsome pictures, thanks for sharing them

Snow Miser
08-08-2010, 06:46 PM
Patrick, they are fantastic photos! What an experience that must have been. Glad you're keeping the location a secret so you can hopefully get more photos of them later. Thanks for sharing with us.

KathyC
08-08-2010, 08:25 PM
I am just in complete amazment, Wow, Just Wow.

Great Photos and thank you for sharing it with us!!!

h2oeco
08-08-2010, 10:30 PM
Great shots as usual... Thanks!

Ed

KSearl
08-09-2010, 08:33 AM
Incredible shots! I love seeing pictures like this. Thanks for posting them.

Karl

KD Talbot
08-09-2010, 09:09 AM
The Great Mooose Spirit was certainly smiling down on you this day! Every shot is better than the last! Amazed as always!

KDT

Anna LeBlanc
08-10-2010, 08:22 AM
Absolutely stunning pictures Patrick!I loved the way you got the youngsters playing.I'd love to follow you into the woods someday and try to capture the moment with these beautiful animals.;)

______________
Anna

mahony
08-10-2010, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the "sighting tips". I've been seeing a few moose in the woods and have been nervous about approaching. It sounds like just waiting them out will allow you to get close. I can only hope to get pictures as nice as yours.

northernthunder77
12-07-2010, 10:52 AM
Wow, great stuff! I live in near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and it's so rare to see moose. We see Elk by the millions, but a moose is a treat. I'm spending the winter in Norway and am hoping to get out and shoot some muskox soon.

haltkn
12-27-2010, 08:13 PM
Great pics. There's something about a momma and her bulls that brings out the kid in all of us. Are bears ever found near Mt. Washington?