Missing Moose

My wife Kristen and I are spending the Labor Day Weekend in Greenville on the shores of Moosehead Lake. At 5:30 a.m. this morning our kind hosts at the Lodge at Moosehead Lake arranged a "moose safari" for us. We drove to First West Branch Pond and then paddled through a cold but lifting fog in search of moose.

Alas, the big animals didn't make an appearance for us (they tend to lie low before the annual fall rut, so it was no surprise), but we did see some great birds, including a family of solitary sandpipers (evidently not so solitary after all), a merlin, sharp-shinned hawks, and a young wood duck that rocketed out of a beaver flowage. As Maine natives, Kristen and I have both seen dozens of moose so we were content just to spend the morning in a canoe on a remote North Woods pond taking in the scenery.

Probably the highlight of the trip for me was when our Registered Maine Guide described a bull moose during rutting season as "Bill Clinton with four legs." That was one joke I hadn't heard before.