December 15, 2017

The Bull Moose

The bull moose is one of the bigger and more imposing animals of the Canadian bush country, and catching sight of one is not necessarily an easy thing to do because they tend to be the more cautious and reclusive of their species.

Sometimes you can get lucky though, as I did one day while on a road trip.

With the increasing influx of roads leading through the wilderness areas of the country, greater numbers of wildlife sightings have become more common to the traveling motorist. Depending on the area you happen to be traveling through those sightings often include deer, bison, elk, sheep, caribou and even the occasional moose.

But it’s extremely rare to catch the kind of sighting I was privileged to in the early morning hours of a summer road trip along the Alaska Highway through Muncho Lake Park.

Zipping along as I was on a deserted section of highway composed of curves and the short rising and falling of its hills I was keenly alert for the presence of wildlife on the road itself, a common hazard of travel through this region.

Cresting another of those little hills I was treated to one of those perfect moments rarely captured in a lifetime, by the sight of a huge bull moose standing in a pool of water nestled among the grasses and undergrowth of the roadside’s left verge.

Traveling as fast as I was, what made this flash sighting I received so unique and memorable though was the perfection of the setting itself. The rays of the rising sun were back-lighting a layer of ground mist among the undergrowth, and reflecting from the surface of the pool of water.

Caught in this backdrop was the bull moose himself having just raised a forefoot to make another step forward, and the single large perfectly formed drop of water I saw fall from his hoof to impact and spread it’s circles into the water below.

The hair of his wet leg raised in the air was glistening and running with other back-lit crystal clear droplets of water too, as he turned his head with its huge rack of antlers to watch me flash by in this moment of purity able to be captured only by the mind’s eye.

It’s a singular image of a bull moose that I’ve never forgotten, and feel privileged to have encountered.

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