Begging your indulgence, dear reader, I start out with a story that explains the title of this post.
On our final day in Alaska last month, we realized that, in contrast to our previous visit in 2012 (see Alaskan Moose Encounters), we had seen practically no moose this visit, much less photographed one. We decided to make one last try on Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Kincaid Park, an area that quickly produced a moose in 2012.
It started out as a discouraging hike. Thirty-four minutes in, my GPS receiver batteries died. I had carelessly forgotten to carry spares with me and would therefore not be able to geotag whatever photos I took on the hike. Then, after hiking another hour through the thick woods of Kincaid Park, I had yet to find a single wildlife creature to photograph, not counting a flock of Sandhill Cranes so far away that only group photography was possible.
By that time, I was really starting to boudé (translated here). I suggested to Donnette that we turn around, go back to the house, and pack our bags for that night’s flight home. Donnette, who has never been on a hike she didn’t enjoy, suggested we just go around the next couple of curves on the trail, then leave.
When we did, our summer moose drought was brought to an end. We saw a female moose and her calf grazing through the thick grass and brush alongside the trail.
The two were rather close to the trail, and we had to be careful not to violate the “25-yard separation rule” for observing moose in Alaska, especially since this was a potentially dangerous case of a female moose with young. This mother, however, was probably used to hikers in Kincaid Park, for she didn’t seemed bothered by our presence.
The two mostly grazed close together as suggested by the above image, but the calf lagged behind on one occasion and allowed somewhat of a portrait shot.
Meanwhile, some distance ahead, the mother was digging into some plants, apparently selecting the next bite of her living salad.
So, I guess the moral of the story is that you should have faith in Alaska. If you get discouraged, just keep giving her a chance and she will reward your patience.
The locations from which the photos were taken for this post and the previous one are estimated because of the GPS receiver failure mentioned above. For this post, see the map below. Zoom in for more detail.