Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Mom got glimpses of plenty of wild creatures of the non-human variety in her days in Alaska: brown/black bears on a mountaintop as we flew overhead, bald eagles and hundreds of salmon as we rafted down the Kenai river, mountain goats, puffins, cormorants, anhingas, kittiwakes, common murres, terns and gulls as we cruised the waters of Resurrection Bay.
She did NOT see a live moose her entire visit. But not for lack of trying. David and I had seen two moose peering through a chain link fence next to the highway on our way to a park in Anchorage, while mom rested at the hotel. Mom kept her eyes on the forests and meadows our truck passed through in all the days the followed, searching for the elusive moose. David spotted another while in town, running an errand while mom and I were out chasing wildlife and scenery on one of our tours. No such luck for Mom.
The evidence of moose traffic is all over our property in Sterling, in the form of moose scat - "nuggets". One afternoon mom and I followed several series of tracks close to our hangar, trying to determine their (we found large and small footprints right together) exact path and hopefully get a glimpse from a safe distance. Sharp-eyed tracker Dorothy spotted this:
Hair left on the branches as the moose rubbed against it. I put it in my pocket to bring home so our grandkids could feel its coarseness, but i forgot about it and lost the hairs when I did laundry. Mom went out another day and found more hair caught in another branch, but no moose.
On our last evening on the Kenai peninsula we took mom past locations where we had seen moose on previous visits - no moose now- to a restaurant that served good food and whose walls were covered with stuffed and mounted salmon, haddock, bears, caribou, elk, foxes and MOOSE.