Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Morning Moose at Mill Creek

Finally, Moose at Rooks Park


August 24, 2014
Sunday,

On this chilly Sunday morning, two moose walked from a thicket onto the south-side service road heading east (upstream) along Mill Creek, about half-a-mile west of Rooks Park.
“Moooose!” I said.


I didn’t notice if Nora the Schnauzer heard me.
My pulse thumped like a flat tire at 60 mph.
Over the past few weeks I’ve heard reports of a cougar and a young black bear being spotted in the Rooks Park area.
I suspect that the intense heat over the past few weeks may account for the presence of unusual wildlife along Mill Creek.
Early in the summer, I saw a moose silhouette with a calf in the greenery above Kooskooskie (about 17 miles up) on Mill Creek.
So, I probably shouldn’t be surprised to see moose at Rooks Park.
But I was.
Surprised and thrilled!
Periodically for decades, people have seen moose in the Walla Walla area. I've often rushed to the spot, only to be too late.
No wonder I my nerves tingled.
My legs quick stepped, and I readied the camera.
The moose strolled leisurely, perhaps 50-60 yards away. They ignored the couple between me and them.
I paused, pressed off a rift of clicks and hurried on.
Without haste, the largest members in the deer family ambled ahead for a few yards before picking their way carefully across the rip-rap and into Mill Creek.




A man with a dog on a leash watched as the behemoths crossed the creek. He watched from a safe distance until they moved north in the thicket.



I closed to within 30-40 yards and pressed off repeated bursts as the moose crossed the creek and climbed over more rip-rap and onto the paved recreation trail near a bench.





The moose ambled out of sight into the thicket along the paved path, but they reappeared in seconds. I guessed the thicket was too dense for them or that they didn’t have room to jump the fence in there.
Neither guess seemed likely, but I had nothing better.


Nevertheless, the moose seemed a bit confused.





Then the small one, trailed by old one-horn, went west young moose at a swift trot.
It spotted the approaching women with the stroller and skidded to a stop, nearly getting its bumper tangled by Moma Moose.




Whoa!



The two muddled about, apparently a tad confused, before diving for a second time into the thicket.
They did not reappear.



And the women with the stroller continued their walk.


So did Nora the Schnauzer and I.
I explained to Nora about the big moose that she had missed seeing, but she didn’t show any interest.
“Moose” is not a word in her vocabulary. Not like “Cat” or “Treat.”

See www.tripper.smugmug.com for more Sunday moose pics.




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