Moose Encounters of the Close Kind

     I think it was Friday morning when the bus driver asked me a question with concern on his face, "Do you ever run into deer or moose on your morning runs?"  I answered truthfully by saying, "Yes, sometimes." He then asked, "Aren’t the moose in rut?"  Again I answered, "Yes, but I’ve only been chased by a moose a few times, once this spring by a cow who had just dropped a calf." He grunted a reply, "Humph, well, have a good day."

     I giggled at his concern as I began my morning run down the Gunflint Trail. This time of the year it is quite dark out yet as I make my way on my peaceful trek.  The shadows can have a way of playing tricks on your mind and sometimes you imagine animal shapes when it turns out to be only a stump when you get closer.

     Fast forward through the weekend to Monday morning after the bus departs and I’m on my run.  I round a corner to see two uprooted tree trunks I had never noticed before.  Nah, couldn’t be tree roots, there were no trees that big left there after the fire.  Maybe they are bushes that look darker after their fall foliage is gone? No I think those are, SCREEECH.  I put on my brakes as I realized it was mamma cow and her calf from this spring.

     Mamma just kept munching away on browse next to the road and the calf came into the roadway to say hello to Rugby who was barking up a storm.  The calf stood like a roadblock and looked quizzically at us as his Mamma paid no attention to us at all. After what seemd like an eternity I decided I should try to make my way around them so I could get back home.

     When I moved forward the cow came up onto the roadway and crossed to the other side of the road.  The calf acted like a school crossing guard for his Mamma as he followed her into the ditch.  Mamma immediately started munching again as I attempted to look invisible tiptoeing past them as quietly as I could.

     At what felt like a safe vantage point I glanced back to see them enjoying their breakfast paying no attention to me.  I was relieved to know Mamma is less threatened now that her calf is older.  She thankfully felt no need to charge at me and all was well.

     As I continued my run I laughed at the thought of the bus driver being concerned about me running in the dark.  Hopefully I’ll ease his concern as I happily tell him about my moose encounter of the close kind.