I, your regular blog writer, have not seen a moose since the early 1990’s. The kids were elementary school students. We were headed home from Marquette one fine spring day when–
OHMYGOODNESS!!! What is that strange creature crossing the road in front of us? It looks like a horse! But it’s not a horse. It’s a…it’s a (this is when the mind starts to register what this loping horse-like creature might be)…what the heck IS IT? It’s a MOOSE!
Let me now introduce my friend, Jennifer Lynn. She was fortunate enough to spot a moose a few weeks ago near West Ishpeming here in the Upper Peninsula. My husband just said that one can count oneself as a “true” Yooper when one has spotted a wolf, cougar or moose. Apparently Jen and her girls are “true Yoopers”. (Except he just noted that the definition of True Yooper is when one has glimpsed all three. Bears don’t count.)
Here is Jennifer’s story, also known as a guest blog:
I moved to the U.P. in 1985, more than half my life ago, and this was my first encounter with a moose. My daughters and I were driving into Ishpeming when we saw many cars stopped on the side of the road. We were just west of West Ishpeming. People were out of their cars with cameras and cell phones pointed into a swamp. We drove by slowly, curious what this was all about. Then one of the girls spotted it. As soon as she said ‘moose’ I swung into the nearest spot to play tourist in my own backyard. Having my camera in tow was an extra bonus.
We all got out of the car. I told the girls to keep the car between them and the moose having heard stories of their possible unpredictable and aggressive outbursts. I, on the other hand, walked along the shoulder of the road fully exposed figuring there were at least a half-dozen other gawkers closer if it happened to charge. No such drama. It was just a lazy graze day for our friend and a few moments of awe for us.
As a kid I vividly remember annual trips to the Detroit Zoo. We drove an expressway lined with concrete walls to see majestic creatures enclosed behind barriers for our educational viewing. I did learn and was fully entertained. However, to experience a creature in its own is inspiring and humbling. Twenty-five years seemed like a long time to be patient before a first sighting but there is no timing more perfect than a spontaneous encounter.
Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing with us!
May we all see a moose in the wild some day…