Yesterday’s “spring walk” netted us some real treasures! Some I was able to capture, others you’ll have to take my word for. Like the ginormous moose tracks up behind the house. HUGE. Holy moses they were big. At first I thought the man of the house had set off up the draw for lord knows what purpose. Then we started looking a bit closer and realized they were moose tracks! Melted out on top (thus the reason for looking as big as a Sasquatch footprint) but with the obvious toe marks of a very large moose. Very large. And then the deciding factor–the scat. We’ve become quite the scatologists here. And moose poop (for lack of a better word, though the eight year old has been insisting on “feces” for a couple of years now, but I digress)–moose scat is quite distinct. As we were walking on up the trail, breaking through what is left of the crusty snow, the scientist-in-training spotted several random pieces of hair scattered along the path. “Moose hair!” she exclaimed. I was, I’ll admit, slightly skeptical, until I squatted down and to my utter disbelief realized she was correct. As the very large beast ambled down the draw, he (we’re assuming due to the size) was losing some of his winter coat. The pieces of hair are gorgeous, silver-tipped and very thick.
We, of course, also had to bring home rocks and aspen branches. I can not seem to get this to stop. I have tried the whole “we live on the side of a mountain with aspen branches and rocks EVERYWHERE” lecture. But it is just that–a lecture that goes in one ear and out the other. So I end up with rocks and aspen branches in my house as well as outside. Eventually I am able to gather them up and silently and secretly return them to the great outdoors, the backyard.
One of the coolest things, sort of if I don’t think of the ramifications, was our find of several of these nest-type formations. The snow has melted out in the “pasture” in front of the house and revealed these perfectly shaped spherical piles of cut grass. The first one was frozen to the ground and as I tried to pick it up, the top half came off in my hands, revealing a hollowed out place inside. The next two we picked up (of course) and after that, I said I thought we’d collected enough. No evidence of what critter made its home there (no scat, no hair or feathers), just the hollowed out center. Kind of cool, unless I cogitate long enough on the possibility of them being chipmunk or mouse homes. Major eye roll. But this is where we live. On the side of a mountain, in the middle of nowhere, replete with myriad numbers of rodent-like creatures who would like to be inside my warm and cozy home. Fact of life. The sooner I accept it the sooner I’ll find some peace and calm.
Finally, we were visited the other day by one we are assuming to be Matilda, with her calf in tow. I took umpteen pictures and a seven minute video, but I will not subject you to them all. One, they were taken from inside the house as I didn’t want to scare them away by going onto the porch and two, they were taken with the iPhone, which just doesn’t measure up to the digital camera. They were being, well, stalked is the only word I can come up with, by a third moose that I am assuming was not around for a friendly chat. Men. What can you say?
And that, as they say, is the rest of the story.