Almost in my Backyard

I live in the country.

It snowed last week. Not really that much. But drifting was severe. Most of the drifts ended up in our driveway. Now we don’t have a tractor. We should. Because the driveway is over 60ft long. That’s about 20 metres. Far too long to shovel by hand when kids have grown up and mostly left.

So we got snowed in. In Alberta, you stock up for the winter, for cases like this. So we didn’t need anything desperately. Sure, my tea supply got a little low. But other than that, we had enough to last.

We didn’t lose our power for more than an hour, so while it was cold outside, we weren’t.

Well, a Chinook arch appeared two days ago. A beautiful sight. Chinooks melt snow if they last a couple of days. So I waited. Sure enough, this morning I went outside to check and the snow had melted enough to make a trip to town.

I happened to look up the hill. The copse of woods on the crest had a hedge I hadn’t noticed before. The hedge moved. I ran inside, grabbed my binoculars and focused from the kitchen window.

The dark spot, that I had mistaken for a hedge, turned her head. I had to look several times. It could be a horse, lose from the farm just south of us. But no, that profile wasn’t a horse. I looked again and saw…

A moose!

She walked out onto the dirt road, back lit by the dawn. Just stood there, turning her head back and forth.

Then I noticed movement in the woods. Just dark, indistinguishable shapes.

I called hubby darlin’ to see, and we both peered through binoculars, waiting to find out what she waited for.

First one smaller, awkward shape appeared, stumbled over maybe a branch or two, and then another.

Momma moose stepped over the fence, just lifted her feet. The little ones, moose twins maybe five/six months old had a little more difficulty. They had to lift their front ends and almost jump – not like the deer we regularly see jumping the fence, deer have to jump.

Momma moose walked across the crest of the hill, standing backlit in that dawn and her babies stopped often, checking out the surroundings, the ground, the sky. All the time posing for us.

We see deer almost daily. There’s a herd that lives nearby, sometimes a few of them sleep in our windbreak here on the acreage.

But seeing the moose. That is unusual. We know they are about. We see them maybe a couple of times a year. I’ve seen male moose charge down the hill after hubby darlin’s truck in the early morning.

But momma moose hides her babies in the coulee. I think.

I’m so glad I looked up and saw her bringing her family out into the world – showing off I think. The twins are beautiful. So gawky and awkward, long-legged and, even at this young age, majestic.

I can see me using their presence in another of the Evermore Chronicles, a bit character. Or maybe a story about a Were-Moose.

I’m so glad I’m able to live in the country.

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