poetry and prose about place

a snippet of landscape – moose habitat

with 10 comments

Not far from Gagetown, on Route 102 in New Brunswick, is an interesting bit of wetland.  Sometimes there is water in this small area but more often it is just wet mud.  During periods of little rain, the mud becomes cracked and dry.  The area never seems to grow any of the grasses or other wetland plants typical of wet areas.

The reason can be discovered through two pieces of evidence.  The first thing you notice about the area is… the mud is carved with the tracks of a large animal.  The second thing you notice is the Moose Crossing sign not far away, along the highway.

I have seen a moose in this muddy place.  It is a dangerous place for a moose to be hanging out, because it is so near the road.

Moose visit these muddy areas for several reasons.  They need water, of course.  Also, salts from the road accumulate and moose use the wet areas as ‘licks’ to replenish their body salts.  Sometimes these waters are naturally high in salt content.

We have seen moose quite often this summer.  We watched a moose and her calf for about a half an hour during our trip to the Cranberry Lake area in July.

a moose and her calf

the moose sent her calf into the woods to hide and grazed quite a while, only a little concerned by us

Do you see moose where you are?

©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

August 13, 2012 at 8:16 am

10 Responses

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  1. Hi Jane
    very interesting – & of course I’ve never seen a moose in Europe!
    I wonder how the proportion of car accidents caused by moose would compare with car accidents caused simply by other car drivers or simply not careful enough driving?


    Sonya Chasey

    August 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    • Hi. The worst thing about deer or moose, they appear so suddenly and seem to move without plan or reason, so even the slowest, most careful drivers can only react instinctively. I think the percentage of accidents caused by moose are actually quite small when compared with all other situations. Jane


      jane tims

      August 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm

  2. Hi Jane,,,,very interesting post. We are heading to PEI soon and I am always awake when driving on that road that is fenced. You have heard about the RCMP officer killed while on duty just a few weeks ago.? His vehicle hit a moose and he died instantly. He was only 37 yrs old. You warn us about eating plants without knowledge of it,,the same warning applies with your excursions in the woods etc. The moose looked very close to you,,,,please be careful Jane. Neighours around me are even timid to walk on our trails now because of the coyotes. “Think Smart”,,,take that everywhere you go. I am learning lots from you Jane and I thank you for that. I missed your poem this morning.! Have a great day!



    August 15, 2012 at 8:47 am

    • Hi Patsi. Every year there seems to be a tragedy with moose on the roads. The fencing program is working since the fatalities are fewer this year. As for going close to the moose… you don’t have to worry about me… we always stay in the car and never do anything to alarm or provoke an animal. There is a story on the news this week about tourists out west getting out of their cars to take photos of elk and bears, just asking for trouble. Have a great trip! Jane


      jane tims

      August 15, 2012 at 9:52 am

  3. Perhaps with repeated stamping down of the earth, it may become more of a water hole??? This post is so interesting. Thanks.

    While I have you, some friends from down south, were talking about eating poke berry leaves. I had never heard of this before but evidently everyone thought they were a real treat. Are poke berry leaves edible? Seems to be a dish from south eastern US.


    Merrill Gonzales

    August 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    • Hi Merrill. In spring, the muddy area is filled with water. As for poke berry, we don’t have it here. It sounds like it belongs to Phytolacca sp., also called pokeweed or poke bush. I don’t know anything about the plant, but thanks for mentioning it. Jane


      jane tims

      August 14, 2012 at 9:34 am

  4. Years ago we travelled to New Brunswick to see moose and were successful. Since then we have seen moose around home though I’m not sure why that has changed.



    August 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    • Hi. We don’t always see them. We have a big program here to fence the main highways so there won’t be so many collisions with cars. It seems to be working (according to the stats), and we occasionally see them on their side of the fence, watching us. Jane


      jane tims

      August 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

  5. Good morning, Jane. I have not seen a moose. Thanks for your post, Ellen


    Ellen Grace Olinger

    August 13, 2012 at 8:44 am

    • Hi. In New Brunswick, they are never far from the thoughts since they are a danger on our roads. Jane


      jane tims

      August 13, 2012 at 8:57 am

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