When the sun finally rose above the clouds, Shyla and I found a protected spot to soak up a few rays.
After I rode with Shyla, I headed out on my own, and the adventure of the day started. I spotted two moose, a mother and a calf about 30-40 yards uphill of a trail very close to our house. I happened to have a long lens with me so I thought it was my lucky day.
My first photo accidentally caught mom itching herself with her hind hoof! I had to crop these photos substantially so I'm sorry for any blurring.
My route home took me past the "moose spot" again to get to my house, although quite a bit of time had passed since I'd seen the moose there. I rode slowly, scanning carefully for the moose as I rode. I started to think that they were gone.
Then, all of a sudden, mother moose burst out of the dense forest, head down, charging me. Holy Moly. I've never been so scared by any animal in the forest.
I yelled. My first yell was a yell of fear. Then, in the course of 2 seconds, I knew I had to stop her before she stampeded me and possibly killed me. My next two yells were angry and aggressive, telling her to "GO, GO, GO AWAY". And, I simultaneously swung my beloved new Meriwether bike between her and me.
At seemingly the last instant, she shied away, with the kind of body language that horses use when scared of something. I kept talking to her in an authoritative way as I backed away. She was now walking in the opposite direction but I continued to back away for a long distance, making sure she wasn't coming up behind me.
Needless to say, I need to figure out how to make sure this type of encounter doesn't happen again. Perhaps I'll carry a bell so they can hear me coming before I am too close. They like to hang out in dense foliage so it's very hard to see them soon enough to give them a wide berth.
I'm glad the moose are doing so well in Colorado but I am now leery of having them hanging around near our house on a regular basis. I'm sure that I'll learn to handle it, like the other wildlife, but today it seems scary.