Welcome to North Pole, Alaska!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moose on the Loose!

Let me explain this title:
Yesterday afternoon, I was chatting with Shannon (my neighbor and good friend) in her living room. I was listening to her story, facing the window, when suddenly I see a very large moose in her backyard aka OUR backyard! I jump up, we throw open the backdoor, and begin the gawking, phase 1. (Our backyard runs into a woods line and there is a large metal fence that separates our backyard from the woods line and eventually the school which sits on the other side of the woods). This moose was on OUR side of the fence, six feet away, a first moose-in-the-yard sighting for me! We then see a large man, dressed in his uniform, with a .357 magnum (says Andrew) in his right hand. He yells to us something like "Mama just jumped over the fence (a 7 foot fence!) and this one got left behind...ya gotta be careful and I'm armed" (ya clearly!) So, apparently Mr. Moose was really Moosie Jr., scared out of his mind looking for Ma. So...the plan was to chase this moose around the fence out of our neighborhood and into the woods- a happy mother-child reunion! Hmmm...quite a difficult task.

Mother moose are quite protective of their children and they are also diurnal so basically they have two things in common with us, human-folk. However, when we do leave our children behind (not often) we usually do everything we can to reclaim them even if we have to scale a fence. To our surprise, the mom headed into the woods and stayed in the woods...
Meanwhile, the baby moose ran frantically around the neighborhood causing clueless (at the time) mothers to quickly lift up their muddy toddlers from the near death trap of a moose barreling around the garage corner (REALLY!).

Shannon and I are definitely at our gawking, stage 2 phase, as we are now in the front of the neighborhood watching the scene(trying not to act like Alaskan-newbies). Shannon turned around, glanced back at the fence, and said "OH MY! Mama is back!" or something like that, and YES, a HUGE Mama with googly (quite stupid-looking) eyes glaring towards her poor junior. Ah, the fence, so close yet so far, and we were thankful for that man-made barrier. After many minutes of the moose race, the baby moose and the mother moose met up with the fence between them and it was HEARTBREAKING! Shannon and I definitely agreed that they were talking, saying their last words, and shedding tears. They needed to get the baby moose out of our fenced-in neighborhood because we surely didn't want Mama trying to get back in!

ANYWAYS, Shannon's husband and Andrew came home from work and joined in on the mooseitarian effort. Next thing I know, Andrew has a metal baseball bat in hand, and is frantically running the baby moose towards the fence. And yes, he was CHARGED by the baby moose, and he promptly took a batting stance and the moose withdrew. It crossed my mind more than once that I might be driving Andrew to the hospital with a broken tailbone (being charged and thrown) or shattered shin-bone (being kicked and stamped on)...ouch. Soon enough the little guy (at least 900 pounds!) was out of the cul-de-sac and up on a hillside, waiting for his mother to find him. At school today, the students were out skiing (They cross-country ski in gym class!) when they saw Ma and Junior grazing by the trees. Mother and child reunited at last!

It might not sound as exciting on the screen but it was an exhilarating experience! I did take pictures and lots of video but the quality is poor and I need to work on it more until I can post something worthwhile to look at.

Now...our fellow moose neighbors are not as massive as this guy...but you can only imagine how big the Mom was if this is the size that some really are...

Tomorrow I am headed to Kenai, Alaska! I volunteered to be a chaperon for a 6th grade overnight field trip. Free trip down through beautiful Alaska...I'll take it! I also really like the group of 6th graders that I work with so it's a win-win situation! We are headed to Kenai, a tiny little town on the western coast of the Kenai Peninsula, just south of Anchorage. It is a 12 hour drive one-way via a nice comfy (and probably a bit smelly) tour bus! The students are learning about space and the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska (in Kenai) provides opportunities for simulated space and earth missions. We even sleep in "space-like" dormitories. It sounds like a pretty cool field trip (imagine: 6th graders, nice tour bus, two nights with friends, away from home...it should be interesting). I am the official photographer of the trip so I will post plenty of pictures upon my return.

Of course, Andrew is well-prepared for my absence. He has a Tombstone pizza in the freezer, pepsi, chips, salsa, and cheese sauce, and all of his evenings free to himself...
He is venturing to a Lez Zeppelin concert on Thursday (yes, I spelled that correctly) with friends. They are a female tribute group to Led Zeppelin. He doesn't work on Good Friday so I expect some cleaning, dusting, and building (I have a long list of wood projects) by the time I arrive back at my castle! He's such a prince :-)

It is time to pack and to enjoy my last hour with another adult over the age of 12 until Friday comes. Also, if you are sick of reading my blog, consider creating your own blog, because I would love to read about the whereabouts and happenings of our friends and family! I never thought I would be a blogger but I have to say, it is quite introspective and relaxing! I know I will love reading this ten years down the road too!

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