nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘moose

moose in a wetland

with 2 comments

On one of our many drives, we found ourselves in the community of Juniper, New Brunswick. In a small bog, in the midst of the community, was this fellow, a bull moose (known in scientific and other circles as Alces alces). He paid no attention to people or cars and went about his business, chewing at the vegetation in the wetland.

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The moose is a fairly common sight in New Brunswick. They are so common and dangerous along roadways, fences have been constructed along sections of the various major highways to separate moose and car.

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The first time I ever saw a moose was on my very first field excursion with my new position with the New Brunswick Department of Environment (back in 1978). I said to the federal biologist who was with me, “Look, a forest ranger is riding a horse through that bog!” The biologist replied, “That’s no horse, that’s a moose!” To this day, it is the ugliest animal I have ever seen, but there is something beautiful in its efficient ungainliness!

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Moose are big animals, up to two metres in height and up to 700 kg; my husband (my authority) says New Brunswick moose do not grow quite this big. Moose are solitary (not herding) members of the deer family. They inhabit boreal or mixed forest and love wetlands and open waters.  They are herbivores and eat aquatic vegetation, grasses, and twigs, branches and leaves of shrubs and trees.

If you see a moose, back up slowly. They can become aggressive if startled or annoyed. My husband saws, “No four inch stick is going to stop a moose!”

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This is the second moose we have seen this summer.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 1, 2018 at 7:00 am

wildlife weekend

with 3 comments

The rule is: if you forget the camera, you’ll see something to photograph. Yesterday, we broke the rule. On a quick trip to the camp we saw these two. The moose cow was all legs; looks like she was put together by a committee. The bear was a big one, too busy eating wild strawberries to be very worried about us. This makes the forth bear we have seen this year. And we heard the loon down on the lake. Great weekend.

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All the best!

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 16, 2018 at 7:00 am

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

black and amber signs

with 6 comments

When people and animals try to occupy the same space, sometimes misfortune or even tragedy occurs.  In New Brunswick, drivers constantly scan for deer and friends include a warning to ‘watch for moose’ in their goodbyes.

The tragedy works both ways.  A moose is a big animal – a collision will mangle a car and destroy a young life in an instant.  At the same time, a turtle killed on the highway is a loss for our ecology and our biodiversity.

The first step in preventing tragic encounters of vehicles with deer and moose and other wild life is the black and amber sign.  It warns us when we travel through the spaces animals consider home. 

In New Brunswick the fatalities involving moose have been so high, the Department of Transportation works constantly on a program of fencing and tunnels to keep cars and people separate and to provide safe passage for animals.

Often in our travels, my husband and I stop to rescue turtles from becoming road kill, carefully moving them off the road in the direction of their destination.  In Ontario, we were delighted to encounter Turtle Crossing signs.  These signs serve to warn and also to make people aware that the wetlands are home to many species.

 

black and amber

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take these as warning

black on amber

time presses forward

no back-spin in the gyre

lost is lost

bubbles make no progress

against the river’s flow

five things to do

before evening

the least of these

to notice the shadow

climbs the wall

her hair tangles

on the pillow as she sleeps

immobile

remember the deer

how it fits itself to the hollow

of the hood of the car

and the moose matches pace

with the bike

prolonging collision

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remember how the turtle withdraws its feet

refuses to move

just another

stone on the highway

 

© Jane Tims   2011

Written by jane tims

October 26, 2011 at 6:48 am

drive at dusk

with 12 comments

Saturday evening we took a drive along Sunpoke Lake, a low part of the landscape where you can see, simultaneously, the marsh of Sunpoke Lake, the Lake itself, and the Oromocto River. 

Along the road were tracks of moose and bear, and the very smelly carcass of a bear.  In each of the tracks, there was a fair sprinkling of seeds, so we surmised the bear tracks were those of the dead bear.

notice the seeds in the tracks... the bear travelled by quite a while ago

The tracks gave us a hint at the drama that must have played out along the road, probably on a night earlier in the week. 

The moose tracks were also full of seeds.  I like to think of it, ambling along the road.  

 

At the turn of the road where it runs along the Oromocto River, we stopped to take some photos of the moon and its reflection.

And on the opposite side of the road, I caught the sunset at its peak, and the silhouette of a very spooky tree.

 

Fears

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I saw a light in the woods tonight

low, through tangled branches of spruce

and crowded stems of fir

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white in the dark

a gleam where only black should stir

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            like the lamp of a stranger

            lost

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but the glow was steady and still

and in less than the catch of a breath I knew

all I saw was the rising moon

beyond the hill

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I heard a cry in the woods tonight

soft and low through the tangle of spruce

and the thicket of fir

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a moan in the dark

a sob where only wind should stir

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            like frightened tears of a child

            alone

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but the cries held no human word

and in less than the catch of a breath I knew

the wail of a wildcat on the prowl

was all that I heard

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© Jane Tims 1992

 

Written by jane tims

October 10, 2011 at 6:37 am

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