Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Moose Are Strange

We had literally just driven up to our new home here in Cooke City, when a family of tourists drove into the church parking lot to look for a moose.  Our home overlooks "Moose Meadow" which is full of dense willows, the food of choice for a moose.  It is one of the best places to spot a moose in the Yellowstone region.  So, we've seen a couple moose around here.  We'd probably see more moose if we'd buy a salt block and place it on the post they all come and lick wistfully.  We will, we just haven't gotten around to it yet.

I have some observations on moose and I will share them with you.  First, moose ladies are pretty.  I feel I should call them something more feminine than a "cow" because look at her!  Those eyes are Maybelline material!  Maybe, a moosette?  

But then she turns and - whoa!  What is that NOSE??  It's like she tried to be an elephant and failed!  What's interesting is when they make - you know that horse-like noise? when they blow air out their nostrils? and then their nose shakes all over the place.  Very, very weird.

Uh-oh.  Now she's looking a little feisty.  Moose are notorious for their bad attitude.  Many locals are more wary of a mama moose than they are of a grizzly.  I would never, ever, ever want to tangle with one of these on a cranky streak.  In case you're wondering, if a moose charges you - run like crazy.  If they catch up to you, curl up and protect your head.  I hope you don't ever have to use that information, but the way I see some folks acting around moose...I'm going to spread the word.  But first I'll spread this word:

For goodness sake, don't ever crowd the moose!

"Whatchya sayin' bout my nose, punk?"

But then, then, my friend, take a gander at that thing hanging from her neck.  What is that??  It's technical term is a "bell" (I think) but what purpose does it serve?  I don't know.  It will be one of my questions to ask in heaven. 

"It's just for pretties!"

I might also point out that moose are, shall we say, slightly disproportionate?  They have a hump above their shoulders that makes them look kind of unbalanced.  I've heard that the muscle in that hump helps them in moving through the snow and water on their extremely long legs.  Seeing that hump above the willows,  it can really look like a grizzly at first glance.

This is a boy moose, a "bull", although you can't see his antlers to well.  Right now, they are covered in velvet which is nourishing the cartilage forming into antlers.  These antlers will really impress the ladies, beat up the competition for the ladies, and then fall off this winter into the snow where I will then find them (I hope).  Antlers are grown and shed each year and are usually only seen on the male of the species.  This is different than horns which are a permanent part of the body and are seen in both male and female of the species.  So moose have antlers, not horns. This man-moose is also displaying the super long legs I was talking about.

"I am lookin' goooood."

Baby moose, called "calves", are pretty adorable in the awkward-yet-somehow-graceful way of a baby horse.  Their eyes are so precious.  This little guy loves to romp around our back yard.  Ain't he sweet?

So there you have it.  It's pretty obvious that only a brilliant Creator could have thought up these creatures.  They are quite the specimen in the creative department.  Now you know everything you've ever wanted to know about a moose.  They are like a cantankerous horse with a wonky nose, long legs, a hump, an inexplicable "bell" hanging off their neck, they eat the willows in my yard and the males have antlers (not horns).    It's probably just easier to think of them as a moose

Or...a moosette.  Gracious, have you spoken with Latisse, ma'am?  
They might need another model.

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