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First Vermont Moose!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

First Vermont Moose!

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natural peace
When we were driving home from Maine on Wednesday, Bobby told me that he'd read a notice from Fish and Wildlife about how moose were moving through the Northeast Kingdom at higher-than-usual rates because of the season and to use extra vigilance when driving. That got me thinking about moose. Namely how I've never seen a moose in Vermont. I saw a moose in Colorado, but never in Vermont. And I had hoped that, during my first year living here, I'd see one. And I felt really disappointed that I had not.

Well! The moose heard me, yo! I went into my school today for about four hours, then Bobby picked me up and we went to the feed store and stopped for Thai on the way home. I was in a semi-food coma as we drove home, when I noticed a woman pulled off to the side of the road, taking a picture of the Barton River with her phone. Now I've taken my share of pictures of the Barton, but it's not particularly picturesque right now: the drama of the near-flood-level waters is over and everything is still mostly brown and dead-looking, and it was a drab, rainy day to boot. But as I looked closer, I realized she was taking a picture of a moose that was browsing through the tall grass growing along the river!

First Vermont Moose

So I have indeed seen a Vermont moose within my first year of living here! Score!

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Hooray! I'm so glad you saw him.
  • Cooooool! Moose points for you! I cannot get over how weird moose look. One of the things I remember most from driver's ed classroom training was that running into a moose with a car was bad, so hopefully that will not be a problem for you! (Of course, that class also left me with the impression that driving around wild turkeys meant certain disaster. Though I can certainly see the point about being careful around moose, with those heavy bodies on skinny-looking legs!)
    • Our fellow moose-frequented northern neighbors tend to take moose-related accidents more seriously, at least based on the signage. Coming from from the beach in Maine was a sign, "WATCH FOR MOOSE IN ROADWAY."

      Or this terrifying sign in NH!

       photo IMG_2144_zpsdeya4sox.jpg


      (ETA that I took this photo because I loved that they felt the need to tell you that if you saw this half-ton animal in the road you should stop rather than plow right through it, I guess?)

      Here in Vermont, we're chill about it, like always. We have lots of yellow, diamond-shaped signs that simply state, "MOOSE." It does not tell you what to expect the moose to be doing or how you should respond if he does. It does not attempt to make you panic over the possibility of moose. Sometimes, they become a little more precise and will have a second sign beneath: "MOOSE | NEXT .8 MILES." Which always strikes me as hilariously specific. I wonder if they tell the moose?

      But seriously, I would not want to hit a moose.

      Edited at 2017-04-22 01:27 am (UTC)
      • The only way I can explain that sign is if there are a lot of out of towners visiting or something - I mean, just living here in Indiana with our slightly less deadly deer, you wouldn't believe the number of people who have to be told A.) Please don't attempt to pet the rutting deer, it will end badly; B.) Please don't try to pet the baby deer with the mama deer right there, it will end badly; C:) Look out for deer on the side of the road, if you have a collision with one, it will go badly.

        So yeah. I can believe there are people who are like, those are animals! They don't weigh that much, my car can take it. Or, those are animals! They'll get out of my way.

        My mom used to work in insurance. People are dumb about what they can hit with their cars and not be injured.

        On a different subject than how people think their car can take a fight with large wild animals, moose! I am glad you saw one (we only have the deer mentioned above, smaller mammals, birds, and the stray visiting mountain lion or recently the bear. If you think the sign about the moose is trying to make people panic, you should have seen the articles about the bear. :P You'd think he was a psycho bear with a gun and a lock picking kit breaking in to houses and killing people, instead of a random bear looking for a place to live that was not another bear's property).
        • The signs probably are for the tourists! Of course, we have lots of those in Vermont too--maybe not as many as Maine but certainly more than NH!--but Vermont is just chill in general, apparently about moose signs as in all else.

          You'd think he was a psycho bear with a gun and a lock picking kit breaking in to houses and killing people, instead of a random bear looking for a place to live that was not another bear's property

          Ha! I remember when we had a bear in our neighborhood when we still lived in Maryland. And when my friend's school practically went on lockdown because there was a random bear roaming a Baltimore suburb! People freaked!

          Bears are really common here ... but mountain lions?! There is always rumor of the elusive "catamount," but mountain lions are not confirmed to still live in VT, from what I've heard. We have other wild cats, but the catamount appears to have receded into Canada.

          I'm still trying to wrap my brain around petting the rutting deer ... I had a friend who was grievously injured when he tried to "help" a deer hit by a car, and the deer came to in the back of his pickup truck and kicked him directly in the balls.
          • Bears are really common here ... but mountain lions?!
            They're not common, by any measure, but yes - mountain lions! You can see a picture here somebody caught with their outdoor security/trail camera. The state finally had to admit that yeah, that's a mountain lion, not a large house cat.

            They've supposedly been extinct here for about a century or longer, and in Kentucky for 150 years...but well, there's been one too many cases of 'escaped' or 'traveling' mountain lions in Kentucky for me to believe that, especially given that my grandfather grew up in coal country there and his parents swore that they were still there then. I just find it hard to believe that somebody spent all the time in the early 1900s making sure there wasn't a single one left in Appalachia.

            I'd honestly rather have them or the bears than coyotes (which we have way too many of) or wolves (which aren't that numerous, but which do breed with dogs and then we end up with problem animals).

            The only wild deer anybody in my family has ever touched was a fawn that was barely big enough to be roaming around, that some jackass hit going down the road at fifty miles per hour (so twenty above the speed limit) that landed in our yard and was obviously dying. My step-dad went out to try and get it to calm down so it didn't cause itself more pain, which he somehow did. Anything other than that situation though, I'm not going anywhere close. One woman here got rammed into by a running deer while working in her garden, which I'm always afraid is going to happen to me walking the dogs one day since they have paths through our front field on both sides of the driveway...

            Deer are dangerous. For some reason, some people seem to think they're sweet little babies that can do no harm.
  • Oh, yay! Eddie and I saw a moose years ago when were driving through Northern Ontario on our way to the Trans Canada Highway. Our eventual destination was San Francisco where Eddie's sister lives.

    We had stopped at a roadside rest center somewhere near Marathon to walk our dog and use the facilities ourselves. It was very picturesque, beside a small lake or pond and there ankle-deep in the water was a huge moose with an impressive set of antlers! It was so big that it scared hell out of me, especially because of the dog. I remember grabbing him and hotfooting it back to our van because I thought the dog might upset him and he might be inclined to charge us! The month was October and I didn't know if that might be mating season or not.

    I think we took a picture of him but it would have been with an old-fashioned camera. I'll have to take a look through my boxes of old photos and photo albums to see if I can find it.

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