I played with the light some, facing to the east so that Shyla was like a golden ghost.
Then, when we were deep back in a pocket of the forest, Shyla's eyes got very wide, and she fixated on something behind me.
It's not easy for me to "look over my shoulder" due to my surgically fused spine. However, her wide eyes convinced me to turn my whole body around to see what was behind me. I expected to see a hiker or a runner but I saw no one.
And I called her to come to me.
She almost bowled me over, running straight into me with wide eyes.
That convinced me to look behind me again. And guess what I saw...
Not just one moose, but THREE. From left to right, it was "Lefty" (the yearling calf), this year's calf (the light colored one), and Mama Moose. They seemed utterly oblivious to us or else not interested in us. These photos were not taken with a long lens. The moose were very close to us.
I stopped taking photos, and I told Shyla to heel. We went to the south of the moose trio, behind a series of boulders, so that Shyla would be invisible and wouldn't anger Mama Moose. I kept talking in a conversational voice so that Mama Moose wouldn't think I was trying to ambush her calf.
We made it out to the trail and walked away from the moose trio. But my bike was still near them. I really didn't want it to be trampled. So, I had Shyla scale a tall boulder, and I had her do a "down-stay" on top of it. My logic was that she was safe from the moose up there, and I had tremendous faith that she wouldn't break a stay, especially not with moose around.
Then, I walked meekly back in the direction of the moose, trying to figure out what to do. I just stood still, pondering the problem of my bike being next to three moose. Well, my problem was solved for me.
Something spooked them. It wasn't me - because they paid no attention to me. They cantered, so powerful and huge, into the forest enclave where Shyla and I had been when we first saw them. I quickly walked over and took my bike. I rode to Shyla and released her from her "stay". Needless to say, we got the heck out of there.
Some of my friends have started calling me a "moose magnet". They might be right.
Let's hope next week involves no moose encounters! Happy Friday!