Storyknife #3: Sightings

I’m not going to lie. The days here in Alaska during my 30-day writing residency run together. There are days when I sit at my writing desk, glancing up between bouts of laying down paragraphs, barely noting the drying fireweed of fall in the field beyond my window, barely remembering there are volcanoes across the Cook Inlet. Only to be greeted by a radiant view of Iliamna breaking through the clouds. Today, it was the merest hint of a rainbow arcing over Mt. Augustine that caught my surprise. (Well, where the volcanic island is supposed to be, but at 60-some miles distant, it’s socked in today.) Sometimes, it’s the striated colors of clouds stretched and loosely twisted like taffy at sunset that make me grab my camera. These things catch my notice. But they don’t all stick with me. (That first night’s sunset does, because it turned out to be an ephemeral and welcoming one. No sunset has touched it since.)

Until yesterday.

Yesterday will always stick out.

Because yesterday is when a young male moose, all 800 or so pounds of him, sporting his immature rack, his dewlap swinging beneath his chin, vestigial tail barely covering his rump, came cruising through the yard at Storyknife right outside Frederica cabin.

Moose are the largest extant species of the deer family, I’ve learned. Their upper lip is prehensile. Their lanky legs flexible enough to kick backwards, forwards, and sideways, giving them the ability to fend off wolves and bears. Moose are excellent swimmers and are outfitted with built in nose pads pushed closed by water pressure, allowing these big herbivores to dive and dine on aquatic underwater plants.

How cool is that?

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary says:

    Way cool! Great photo work, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      I keep my camera at my side, ready to go. Good thing because this guy was on the move!

      Like

  2. barbmayer says:

    Moose are my favorite herbivores; I think they’re evolving to become the next manatee. ???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      That made me snort my tea, Barb!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thomas G. Tamura says:

    Super cool Kim! Any avian species? Moa’s!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      Hey, Thomas. No moas, but sandhill cranes!

      Like

  4. diane tilley says:

    I too have a dewlap, but did not know that was what it was. A few weeks we had a moose swim across the river in front of my condo!!! and wandered about a local subdivision. I am surrounded by nature. Just saw pictures, not the actual animal, but certainly heard and about it and saw photos. A few days later we had a bear show up around the local ice cream manufacturing place!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim says:

      Diane, you, too, are making me snort my tea! It sounds like you live in an awesome nature place.

      Like

  5. suegranzella says:

    Glorious! Just a beautiful, wondrous moment captured. So glad you shared!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois Shore says:

      I love Moose. When I was at a friend’s house in the Colorado Rockies, a moose would come through the yard each day in the late afternoon. We would all go running out on the upper deck to take pictures, and the poor thing would try to hide under it. Only he was so large that his hind out stuck out! I have great Moose butt pictures!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kim says:

        I love the image of that, Lois!

        Like

  6. JoAnne says:

    Great photo and I love the sideways kicking legs and self-sealing nostrils!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a treat to read your post and share your experiences. I too love that great big magnificent beast that is a moose, but have yet to see a real one. Thank you for the info about them too. How fascinating.
    Wishing you happy writing and moose sighting and all that makes your heart expand and your soul sing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. pam says:

    Love imagining you there Kimmy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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