Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Memorial Day Moose

Deer across the river.
Monday was Memorial Day and historically the Memorial Day weekend is the official start of the camping season. Our observations have proven that you do not want to go near the woods on that holiday. There would probably be less people around you if you were to stay home and camp in your backyard.

The Bennett answer to this is to stay put and then on Monday afternoon, when everyone and their dogs are heading back into town, you drive up to the spot where you would like to camp. Then you can enjoy the wilderness taking some deep post-invasion breaths.

Our evening fires are the best!
As we drove up the Coeur d’Alene River, RV after RV lined the highway. The national forests were spewing humans in a mighty run-off, and we were heading upstream. We pulled off at Teddy Creek and Linda walked into one of our favorite spots to check and see if it was empty. It was. With a wave of her hand, she called me in and we set up our home for a two-day visit.

Looking out our camper door.
The evening was very quiet and we sat around the fire gazing across the river.  A deer came down for a drink; Linda and I watched in silence. Kobi chased sticks as we ate a late dinner. It was cold when we went to bed, the sound of the river brought sleep as soon as we snuggled in.

Linda woke up and quietly went outside, letting Kobi out of the truck and starting a morning fire. I made coffee and tea, and then sat down to enjoy the morning. As I took my first hot sip, I looked out the camper window and spotted a pair of ears sticking up across the river. A moose was looking our way, relaxing without a care in the world. I picked up my camera and stuck my head out of the camper and alerted Linda of the critter’s presence.

Just another big moose across the river.
It lay, watching us watch it, for quite a while. I moved out onto the steps of the camper and took pictures. The moose must have noticed me moving because it stood up. Low and behold, when SHE stood up, there was a tiny calf moose right by her side. She stood there and the baby nursed. Baby moose looked to be only about two days or so old, maybe less.

The cow moved into the river and stopped to go to the bathroom. I have a photo of the two moose relieving themselves in the river; baby mimicking mama exactly. It’s quite a sight. Once they were feeling better, they wandered across the rushing river and disappeared upstream.
Add caption

I took quite a few pictures as this all happened, so I hope you don’t mind all the ones I posted. We were pretty excited.

Add caption
We ate breakfast and I got my gear on and headed downstream fishing. Linda read a bit and then walked the dog. As I approached the highway bridge downriver, a moose came out of the thicket on the right bank and crossed into the river. This happened about 15 yards away. Needless to say I stood as still as possible and let it saunter across below me. When the bridge abutment blocked the moose’s view I moved so that I was in a safe area and let it disappear into the brush.

Linda and Kobi were walking to the bridge to see if they could spot me fishing and guess who came up and across the road in front of them? The moose! She said they stopped and backed away and let the moose disappear into the trees.

When Linda arrived at the bridge, I came up and we walked on together. We don’t know if it was the same moose as we saw that morning. The calf was not present and there were many moose in this part of Idaho.
Our walk took us upriver to the bridge above camp. Linda wanted to check out the campsites up there, and I wanted to see if there were any morel mushrooms available in this area. The morels have been growing like crazy due to a forest fire that had gone through this area last year. I have had friends that have been picking morels I wanted to give it a shot.

I climbed up the bank and immediately found some of those tasty little buggers. So I picked them. There were about a gallon that I put in my hat and brought back to the camper. I actually walked back to that spot and picked about two gallons total. What a find!

We ate dinner and sat around the campfire enjoying the evening. Both of us wondered if the cow moose and calf would come back to the bed across the river, but they didn’t. We slept well that evening and in the morning packed up to drive home.

We took a bit of a detour when we left Teddy Creek. We drove upriver and checked out our favorite moose spot above 16 ½ mile camp. As we approached Linda spotted another moose and took some pictures. We turned around and headed home. Halfway down the river another moose ran up the bank and out in front of the truck. I was able to slow down with no problem and it ran along the highway and turned up a logging road, moving quickly away from danger (us).  Our visit was productive as moose go. We added up the tally and found that we spotted 4.1 moose on this short trip. The .1 was the baby, but  it definitely was the cutest of the bunch!

Just part of my mushroom find. (Lookout, hat hair!)
The fourth moose of the trip.

No comments: