When we pull into the yard after a day at work or a trip to town we are used to being greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of animals. Over the years these have included numerous dogs, goats, chickens, cats, horses and sheep. They all know that shortly after the vehicle arrives a meal, a treat and a couple warm pats or a scratch behind the ears is forthcoming. We’re used to it. What we aren’t so used to is being greeted by moose, but for the last month that is exactly what has been happening.
When we pull in a trio of moose hot-foot it into the yard from wherever they have been hiding, intent on licking the road salt off our vehicles while it’s still fresh. The other night I arrived home and sure enough, there were the three moose impatiently waiting for their salt lick to roll to a stop. Even when their salt lick honked at them, they were undeterred. I took in a load of groceries, leaving a door and a rear hatch open on the Jeep, thinking the interior lights would scare them away. When I returned the Jeep was surrounded by three lolling tongues each tethered to a moose. Clapping my hands and yelling only resulted in them reluctantly stepping away a few paces. It was disconcerting to say the least.
I managed to get the rest of the groceries inside but I have to admit to being a bit jumpy. It’s hard to keep your eye on one moose in the dark, but three was definitely a challenge. One started making a guttural noise. I wasn’t sure if it was friendly or threatening; was it saying “Thanks for bringing back the salt lick, lady” or was it (more likely) saying “Step away from the salt lick, I don’t got all night.” Alas, I don’t speak Moose. Perhaps that’s for the best.
An upside is that in their enthusiasm for the road salt, they seem to be leaving the garden pretty much alone. And they have yet to breach any of my “tree corrals” that surround my most precious trees, so there you go. Every cloud has its lining.
One of my biggest concerns is coming out to discover a moose with his tongue stuck to the Jeep. Now that would be interesting.