Wednesday, 30 July 2014

#552 In the field: Wilderness aesthetics, con't . . .

Please start this series of blogposts with # 549;  Wed.,  July 23

While in the Colorado high country last week, we encountered moose every day. The focus of this post is moose.

The moose is a member of the deer family and is the largest antlered mammal on earth.  Four subspecies of moose are native to North America:  The Eastern moose which ranges from Maine to eastern Canada;  the Canadian moose which ranges from Ontario through Saskatchewan;  the Shiras moose which ranges from the Colorado Rocky Mountains northward through Alberta;  and the largest of all . . . the Alaska-Yukon moose.

Shown at right, detail of the bronze, Red Willows  

Although moose were abundant in Colorado in the pre-1800's, they were hunted to extinction by 
Native Americans and early white settlers.  In 1978, four bull moose and eight cows, one with a calf, 
were released in northern Colorado and the reintroduction has been an overwhelming success. 

Below, are images of the Shiras moose taken last week in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

We saw the cow and calf shown below every day while we fished our favorite high-mountain trout lake.  
The water was shallow in most places and one day we saw the cow stroll out to feed on the lush vegetation with the calf following.  The calf ventured in but turned back when it's knees were just above the water and returned to the safety of the woods while the cow waded to deeper water and fed.   After a period of time, the cow grunted and the calf emerged from the woods as the cow waded to the edge of the water.  The calf nursed and then both sauntered back into the woods.  

I sketched and photographed moose everyday on the trip.

Below, an original etching entitled Mossback

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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

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