Driving along Hwy 60 today, I came upon this lovely cow moose and her yearling calf.
She was right by the roadside. And the calf was on the other side. Which is why you need to be paying attention when you are driving in the North Country at this time of year.
The photos of the calf were taken through the windscreen (you may be able to see some of Taffy's noseprints in the foreground) because I would not put the window down on her side of the car. Moose consider all dogs to be wolves, and will stomp them. They are big, and they have every right (as we shall see
later in this post) to be wary of wolves.
Moose in the Park always draw a crowd. If you are driving and see cars pulled onto the shoulder -- slow down and be alert! Remember that while the people are rubber-necking to see the moose, they may not be watching the road to see you!
Always pull well over to the side to allow other traffic through. And be very cautious if you are getting out of the car. Again -- drivers may be moose-watching, You will get a very close look, just staying in the car. This moose almost put her head in the car window to check it out.
not road watching! Never approach any wild animal, either. If you are standing on the shoulder of the road to see a moose down in a marshy area, that's fine, but in this instance getting out of the car would be just plain silly.
Be wary too, because while seeing a moose beside your car is thrilling, seeing one on your hood is more than alarming. These are BIG animals. And heavy. And nobody wins in a car/moose encounter. With one moose on either side of the road, it didn't take David Suzuki to know that sooner rather than later one of the moose would cross to join the other.
I had been warned before I got to the Park that a few days ago, the wolf pack had brought down a moose at the edge of the road, near the Km 10 marker, so I was prepared. But the picture is a bit gruesome... You might want to stop reading here... on the other hand, the wolves have to eat, and moose is one of the biggest items on their diet, in every sense. The carcass was also feeding foxes, ravens, crows and other scavengers. And the wolves will be back to finish the clean up. It is the cycle of life, and Algonquin is a fabulous showcase for that. There will be new calves born this month in Algonquin, and the cycle will begin again. There will be wolf cubs, too... and they are also wonderful, so while I paused to salute this moose and give a little tear for his demise, I had to also give a nod to the wolves, doing what they do.