My day began, as it always does, with a plan. The morning routine when I’m home is fairly set. Get up (a laborious task on cold mornings), put the leash on Rainbow, let Ranger out of his pen, and take both for a morning stroll. I stop on the way back up to the house, hook Rainbow to the trailer, feed and clean up after the horses, haul and dump the manure behind the hoop house, then bring dog and goat with me back up to the house.
This morning my routine was disrupted. I put Rainbow on her leash, let Ranger out of his pen, and then went to open the upper gate. I looked up, and there, about 50 yards away, were Mama Moose and Baby. The pair have recently become a neighborhood mainstay, and thus a subject of roadside conversation.
Judy Donegan, who lives down the road, said that one morning she opened the door to her carport, and discovered Mother Moose, standing butt side to her, next to her vehicle. And I recently scooted past the pair, who were standing further downroad, in Pat and Ray’s driveway.
I ran back inside, got my camera, and again went out the gate. Mama Moose and Baby were hanging out by the Tundra and Suzuki Swift. Mama alternated between eating tree branches and licking salt off both vehicles. I began taking
photos and in the process crept closer and closer.
Mama Moose snorted at me when she thought I was too close – it was not a friendly horse snort, but rather a mean moose snort. I took her entreaties seriously. I had an escape route in mind. If Mama gave chase, I’d run up into my writing cabin and watch the pair from inside. Click, advance, click advance – I finally put myself between the cars and the moose, climbed inside the Tundra, and continued to take photos.
I took a photography class at the local college a few years back. The teacher implored the six-or-so of us to not submit moose photos for critiques, saying that they were a dime a dozen. So I am aware that moose photos here in Alaska are a dime a dozen, though they are rare elsewhere.
Mama Moose eventually wandered off, in search of Baby, who minutes before had ambled down the driveway and out onto the road.
I walked back up to the main cabin, having at least momentarily satiated my urge to create. And the rest of the day? I continued to plan, having been reminded that the unforeseen might throw a wrench in the proverbial works.
It’s Stupor Bowl Sunday. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. eastern time, 2:30 Alaska time. No chips and beer here; rather, I will be outside with the ponies. The days are now longer (thank dog), and the sun is now setting around 6 p.m. Plenty of time to act upon my horsey plans.
Next: 37. 2/6/17: Eulogy for Rover the Goat