MOOSE! See the MOOSE? Do you see it? DO you?

Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it wonderful when you can spot a moose beside the road?

All joking aside, our most famous local celebrity is–a Moose.

It can be seen munching swamp-grass on the Skanee Road, to the great delight of community members driving between L’Anse and Skanee or Aura.

This same moose–or a distant relative–lounged in the same swamp last spring, entertaining drivers and camera buffs alike.  Usually it appeared at dusk, resulting in an entourage of cars pulled over on the side of the road.

Often photographers dash out of their cars running toward the moose who watches the antics of humans with cool detachment.

(Some of us mutter that one of these days the moose will decide to charge some of us crazy people, and then the Michigan Department of Natural Resources might have to shoot the noble creature for acting as a public nuisance…although we pray that will never happen.)

We know not the sex of this particular moose, because sex can only be determined (at long-distant sightings particularly) by a large rack of antlers.  Since it’s not yet antler-season, the bulls and cows look the same.

You may want to read this link about Moose Facts.  It says that moose are not usually aggressive, except when hungry, tired or harassed by people, dogs and traffic.

You may also want to stop by this blog Two moose sightings in one week written last spring in which my friend, Lori, took some fairly close-up photos of roadside moose.  It explains a little about the history of moose in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Or click this Michigan DNR Moose Project Fact page.

But let’s return to our exciting moose spotting yesterday.

A much better view, don't you think?

Last spring I saw the most magnificent bull in the swamp, complete with a large rack.  Up close and personal. No other cars around.  However, this sighting occurred during one of my anti-camera phases.  After two years of carrying the camera everywhere for your blogging pleasure, I decided to quit photography for a week or so.  You can imagine the eye-rolling that accompanied the spotting of the elusive moose.  Figures.  Never leave your camera at home.

Last week the community got excited again.  Moose spottings!  The moose was back munching  in the swamp.  Somebody put up a wooden sign:  Moose Crossing.  Moose-sighting fever is high.  C’mon, Moose, show us yourself!  We want to see you, take your picture, share it with the moose-less world.  Please?

On Friday night, after our fish fry with John and Jenny Kuttenberg at the Huron Bay Tavern, we advised them to keep their eyes peeled for moose on their way home, especially near the swamp.  John emailed back excitedly:  “The moose was there!”  Hurray–another sighting!

Yesterday, I motored to town.  No moose at the crossing.

Motored home.

Seven cars were pulled over.

I grabbed the Canon Rebel with long zoom-lens and jumped out of the car faster than you could say, “Bullwinkle!”

Ran to the side of the road–I wasn’t harassing the moose, honest–and began snapping.

Twelve other passers-by snapped photos, as well, although mostly on little point-and-shoot cameras and cell phones.

I snapped my shot with the powerful Ms. Rebel.

You can see, by the first photo, the stunning results.

“Kathy!  Kathy!” some of the moose audience cried, when they saw the Canon Rebel.  “Come over here!  Come over here!  Take a picture from this view!”

We see you, Mr. or Mrs. Moose...

Thank you, people.  I headed over to their vantage point and yes, yes, you can see the moose a tiny bit better.

“Kathy, are there nubs on the moose?” an older woman called from a truck.  (Who is she?  Why is she calling me by name?)

I cannot determine nubs or lack thereof.  Perhaps some of you readers can discern.  The moose yawned and turned away.

“Kathy, can you email us pictures?” asked at least two people. “Email them to Elaine.”

“But I don’t have Elaine’s email address–” I said, but off everyone left in their cars, the moose now too far away to photograph, the excitement abated.

Nary a car remained alongside the road.  The swamp now looked peaceful, deserted… until the next time the moose decides to munch next to the highway.  It’s as exciting as a circus.  But don’t run TOWARD the moose, people. Let’s stay on the road and let it wonder about the crazy people.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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34 Responses to MOOSE! See the MOOSE? Do you see it? DO you?

  1. Wow, I’ve never seen a moose before! They don’t usually hang around, here in the UK.

  2. How fun, Kathy. Can’t imagine having a local moose. I associate them with the TV show Northern Exposure. I loved that show, actually. Hope you have a wonderful Sunday, my friend!

  3. I think the middle photograph captures the Moose’s attitude with its head tilted at a jaunty angle. Ya gotta love a sassy moose!

  4. Elisa's Spot says:

    weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee another wish granted!!!

  5. So lucky, and brought back so many moose memories for me . . . the gigantic bull moose that threatened to attack our long train of canoes (with me in the first canoe which is red and moose are kind of like bulls with that color), the mother moose and her two calves crossing the road as I drove back from a wedding in Maine. Oh, if only I had my trusty camera for both those moments. All I have are the memories.

  6. jeffstroud says:


    Gotta love them there people, who just jump out of cars, camera ready, charging toward something that is wild and bigger then they are… LOL!

    Great blog of course, glad you had your camera this time!

    I was driving over the Mountain when I spied a sign said “Bear Crossing” I have never in my life seen a bear crossing sign. I said to myself now there would be a sight, bears crossing the road. (Vermont!)))

  7. susanblake says:

    Hi Kathy,
    LOVE the moose! There were some sitings of moose around our area up north but all I’ve seen is bears and countless deer.

  8. rehill56 says:

    I haven’t seen it yet but I too have heard the stories and the homemade sign. 😉

  9. rehill56 says:

    …or should have said, “seen the homemade sign…” jajaja…

  10. bearyweather says:

    Sounds like a fun time. In the past, I have seen moose around here … but, it has been a very long time. Like you, I did not have my camera with me the last time I saw a big bull moose on the side of the road.
    Informing people about moose is a great idea … the moose population in Minnesota is declining rapidly … a lot of them are dying in the northeast (theory – too warm). Here is a site about what is happening to the moose in Minnesota:
    Moose in Minnesota

  11. Carol says:

    Once upon a time sightings like this would have been so routine they would have been taken for granted. How wonderful that sometimes we still get the pleasure of seeing one of these majestic animals. Good job, Kathy!

  12. Reggie says:

    Well-spotted, Kathy! That moose looks magnificent.

    Such a stroke of luck, for all of us, including Elaine (did you email her copies? perhaps she will contact you via Barry, given your fame among the locals…), that you had Ms Rebel with you in the car.

  13. Heather says:

    I’m so happy for you that you got to see one of these magnificent creatures…safely! We saw a mama and 2 babies while in Glacier National Park a few years ago, and I hope we can see some this summer during a UP trip. The coolest (here I go judging) wildlife I’ve seen is turkeys fanning tail-feathers in a jaunty display, and I guess I’m okay with that 🙂

  14. jeff v says:

    COOL! Hope it’s still hanging around by the time we get up there. thanks,

  15. Robin says:

    I’m so glad you finally got to “capture” your moose! How exciting! I have never seen one, but am hoping for a sighting this year in Canada where we’re going for our summer vacation. 🙂

  16. Kerry Dwyer says:

    I thought I recognise your moose from a news bulletin late last year. So I searched through all the news sort of things that I am likely to read (very little). But no it was an Elk – silly me for not spotting the difference immediately. This one was drunk and disorderly and stuck in a tree near Gothenburg.
    Thanks for the lovely photos.


  17. Brenda Hardie says:

    How exciting Kathy to be able to see the moose!! I have only seen a moose once (in person, in the “wild”) and that was up north along the Gunflint Trail…where I also saw a black bear cub. It was such a beautiful area and I have always wanted to return. Does your friend bearyweather live near there? I love the books written by Helen Hoover about her experiences living up there on the Gunflint Trail…would LOVE to have all of them for my own…or even just 1 or 2 ♥
    Anyway…your pictures are great! I bet the people that had their point and shoot cameras and cell phone cameras were quite jealous 🙂 They should know about your blog!
    The sun finally came out but it’s not as warm (still warmer than normal though!) but I’m inside still helping my son with his science fair project. Today he is doing his experiment and when the experiment is done, he’ll need to write his 5 paragraphs about the results of the experiment. Whew…I think he has spent so much time during his spring break writing and he does NOT enjoy writing. It’s so tough being a 6th grader you know! lol I’m quite sure he would much rather be out looking for a moose!

  18. Lori DiNardi says:

    It sounds to me like both Kathy and Mr or Mrs Mouse are celebrities in that town. 😉

  19. john says:

    Kathy, this was one of my favorite nature encounters. This is part of the reason I love this place so much.

  20. irenelefort says:

    Ahh! The moose. Now I get your comment on the other post. 🙂 So did you go through your blog followers to see, if there was a Elaine? Did the old lady get the pictures she wanted? So many questions without answers. Do I sense another post in the making?

  21. Sybil says:

    What a thrill !

  22. Wow! What an amazing site! 🙂

    My husband and I are thinking of driving to Alaska this summer and we both really hope we get to see at least one Moose!

  23. forestfae says:

    Hi Kathy,

    I have a question if you dont mind? (totally un-moose related 🙂

    A certain blogger keeps on reblogging some of my travel posts, even though I have removed the reblog button, I saw this morning that she has yet AGAIN (and after I have put a big old copyright thingy in a very visible spot) reblogged content with photos that I do not wish to be reblog) reblogged some of my stuff without my consent.

    I thought I put a stop to it a few weeks ago when I removed the reblog button in my dashboard, and put up the copyright stuff, what would be the proper blog-etiquette to deal with this issue now? Especially since one of her sites is pornographic, and since she started reblogging my work, I get bombarded by spam messages.

    Take care,

  24. Connie T says:

    I was once hiking on a trail at the Grand Tetons. Right in the middle of the trail were two moose sleeping. They sleep with their eyes open. I walked around them very quiet. They didn’t wake up. Rangers said they will attack people and if you climb a tree, they will stand under it for hours until you come down. I am glad they did not wake up. They were huge.

  25. How exciting! 🙂 I didn’t even know there WERE moose in Michigan!

  26. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed a perfect photo op — but did NOT have my camera with me….. or, DID have my camera with me, but had the wrong lens on to capture the moment properly, and the subject moved on too quickly for me to change lenses….

    You did a beautiful job of capturing the moose! 🙂

  27. A little bit of synchronicity – I saw a program about moose on Nat Geo Wild last night. It turns out that moose have been spotted here in Connecticut recently – oh my! I learned that if the moose you are looking at puts its ears back it is going to charge, a tip I don’t plan to forget any time soon. So happy you finally got your moose pictures, Kathy! (Good to see that its ears were up!)

  28. Kathy says:

    Thank you, all you moose lovers, for pausing beside the photos of this moose (and the accompanying story) to appreciate and comment. Next time you all are photographing moose, please remember Barbara’s advice (just up above): if the moose has its ears down–GET OUTA THERE!!! If the moose is grazing with ears up, you’re safe. Valuable woods information for youse guys. (as the locals say.) Thanks again, commenters. I love you!

  29. Dana says:

    We see lots of moose (is it the same word in plural?) in Alberta, but I have yet to see one on Vancouver Island. I’m glad you had your camera on you at the time!

  30. katyarich says:

    wow, those are very good pictures, I’ve never being next to a moose before, I just would love to, thanks to share 🙂

  31. Kathy says:

    Thanks again, everyone. Glad you enjoyed the moose!

  32. Lastly, I enjoyed the moose sightings. Thank you. I am not always this far behind!

  33. Kathy says:

    I keep looking for that moose again. I want to write a sequel called “Moose 2” like in the movies. lol. But no moose to be spotted…

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