Monday, February 11, 2013

Moose Crossing

My husband and I took a drive today out into the nearby Priest Lake area.  The skies were overcast and gray today.  The roads were dry and clear, with no snow or ice on them.  The trees have lost all their snowy covering, and the snowbanks alongside the road are brown and gray with all the residue of the road plowing process. 

So, it wasn't a particularly gorgeous day to be out for a drive.  The sun managed to keep itself hidden all day long too.  All these signs point towards the fact that spring is probably not far away. When you see snow beginning to melt, and the bare ground showing up even out at Priest Lake, and seeing the sun shining longer and longer each day... there is some excitement in the air that spring is not far away.

Although, I really like the snow.  Maybe I'm a little crazy, but I do love the crispy, beautiful sunny days with snow carpeting the world.  But when all the snow starts to melt, and all the dirt and grime from the snowplows takes over the scenery... then I really begin to hope and eagerly await spring. 

Today, we turned down a road that we hadn't driven down before. There are so many different places to go and see, and I feel like we've only scraped the surface of all the beautiful places to be explored in this area that we live in. 

We dove down to a small lake called Chase Lake.  This lake is quite popular for bass fishing and also has lots of wildlife.  Moose are known to regularly haunt this area because of the swampy areas around the lake.  As we drove down here, the road to the lake was not plowed, so we had to park and walk a bit to get there.  You could see footprints of others who had been out here. 

As we got down to the dock area, you could see that the lake was completely frozen over, and there were moose and deer tracks everywhere, as well as tracks of the ice fisherman who had been out here.  While we were there though, we did not see any wildlife at all, just plenty of evidence that lots of wildlife habituated this place. 

From this angle of Chase Lake, you can see Sundance Mountain Lodge overlooking the lake.  This lodge is open year round, and is a big favorite of snowmobilers. 
As we were leaving Priest Lake, we were driving down Highway 57, and far in the distance, I noticed what look like a bunch of "something" crossing the road.  From a distance, we wondered if it could be a herd of elk.

Upon getting closer to all these "legs" it was obvious that this was not a herd of elk... but a herd of men with ski poles and snowshoes, headed out on a hike of some sort, it seemed.  I'm sure they were wondering what I was doing with my camera snapping a picture of them.  One guy waved at us.  He didn't know that from a distance we had gotten all excited thinking we were witnessing a herd of elk crossing the road, and were disappointed to find out it was only a group of hikers. 

I almost put my camera away, because I really thought that with this loud diesel truck we were in that we would probably not have a chance to see any wildlife on the way home.  I had just settled back in my seat and set my camera down, when I had to reach for it again in a hurry... and this time it was not a false alarm!

For indeed, a moose had appeared at the edge of the road, and I had just enough time to get a few quick pictures as he made his way across the road... very quickly! 

At first it looked like he was going to run down the road a bit, but then he turned, and jumped over the snow bank, and back into the woods he went.  Since there was a truck coming up behind us, we didn't have time to sit and watch him any longer, but had to continue on down the road. 

I was pleased that at least I had my camera ready to go, and that it was still daylight.  Most of the time when they make their appearance, it is almost dark, and you can hardly see them.  So that was our excitement for the day... a 30-second glimpse of a moose on the loose....

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