And, one of my favorite places to walk is around Silver Lake. While I walk the lake trail my antenna are up while I carefully scan the willows looking for ears or antlers. You never know when a moose is sitting in the cool grass seemingly unseen by the eyes of walkers by. Smith saw fresh moose scat along the trail so we felt certain moose were about.
We made it out to the first dock and eyed the beauty of the lake. As I looked towards the trees I spotted a big cow moose stripping a sampling aspen. She was hidden within a copse and deep into shadows. We walked back along the trail and easily found her (once we knew she was there) but couldn't get a good photo because the shadows were so dark.
The morning was comfortable, but the day was already starting to heat up and I had forgotten my hat. The sun was brutal as temperatures this week are nearing record highs, but the back side of the lake trail winds through a pine forest and we continued along the trail. As we rounded the lake and headed into the trees we bumped into a volunteer ranger who told us of a big bull sitting in the reeds near the end of the trail. She told to keep an eye out as only his rack and his ears were visible.
Can you see him? His ears bounced and his rack danced, as he must have been scratching, or eating. We were delighted to have seen two moose, but when we turned back to the trail we saw the cow had left her shaded copse and was heading out into the grass. Despite the heat we took off in her direction, passing the parking lot and walking about a quarter way around again.
She was big, beautiful, and enjoying her stroll through the shallows of the lake. I loved the way she leisurely walked along, dripping with water, slowly pulling up grass and looking about. What an amazingly large creature she was! We watched for a long time and finally decided to head back to the car, but half way there we were told by a passing couple that a group of three (more) moose were sitting in a meadow back up the trail. We turned around and backtracked to the meadow.
The meadow is off to the side where the trail forks and heads off into the mountains. There they were, in a lovely shaded quiet meadow, a big bull, another cow, and smaller moose, likely a calf, of which we could only see its ears. Over on the left of the photo, near the top of the gray rock, you can see the rack of the bull, and back in the trees there sits the cow, who looks more like a big black rock. Somewhere in the bright green shoots sits the smaller moose, only seen by wiggling ears (to the naked eye), but which was not visible in any of the pictures I took. You'll just have to believe me that all three were there.
It was a Five Moose Day, not a record (six is my record) but exciting nonetheless. I going to credit Bonny's elk for bringing us luck on our hike.