Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wildlife Encounters on My Birthday

There we were, just five minutes up the trail from the trailhead. Ickie was walking along with his head down, and I looked up the wooded path to a clearing about 40 yards ahead. In the space of a second, the following thoughts went through my head:

Oh, look, someone is horseback riding. They must have left the horse in the clearing.

Hmm, that's very tall and lanky for a horse. And dark. Is it a mule?

Slowly the creature turned its head to look back at us. It had antlers.

Oh. Dear.

It's. A. Moose.

A huge bull moose was staring at us. I froze and whispered to Ickie to stop, pointing ahead. We began to back away cautiously.

The moose turned to consider us a few more times, then sauntered up the trail and disappeared. I turned to Ickie and cursed quietly.

We waited a very long time before moving on. After that, the hike ranged from moderate to strenuous, but I told Ickie I was burning twice as many calories because my insides were still quivering with fear. We dubbed this form of exercise "Terror Exercise." Every time a squirrel or woodpecker moved in the bushes after that, we freaked out all over again.

After we returned home, Ickie looked online and discovered that fall is when bull moose are in rut and the most dangerous. Thank goodness we didn't douse ourselves with Eau de Female Moose before leaving the house.

Other tips suggested that if attacked by a moose, one should:

1. Increase the distance between you and the moose.
2. Get behind a tree.
3. Change your route.

I find the "get behind a tree" advice morbidly amusing. Unless there's a redwood nearby, I don't see how it could protect me very well from a 2,000-pound moose. However, it is recommended to make a lot of noise while hiking, and we had enough sense to do that.

Moose exits, stage right.

I practice self defense.

Ickie is startled by a squirrel that sounds like a moose.


Kevin said...

I love it that your blog includes not only recommendations on tea and books and recipes, but also tips to avoid a moose attack.

Now, if only you could also include tips on surviving a Cylon attack. (Or tips on how to know one's spouse isn't a Cylon...)

Watoosa said...

Kev, FYI I have been working on my zombie contingency plan, but b/c the Cylon tips have been requested, here's my advice.

How to survive a Cylon attack:

1. Get to know a Cylon ahead of time and make her fall in love with you.

2. Work out all the time to maintain your Lee Adama-style arm muscles.

3. Frighten the Cylons away with your Edward James Olmos-type acne scars.

How to detect if your spouse is a Cylon:

1. If your spouse has a flashing red monocle, he/it may be a Cylon.

2. If your spouse is female and has no cellulite, she may be a Cylon.

3. If your baby has the power to cure terminal cancer, your spouse OR YOU may be a Cylon.

Kevin said...

That's absolutely great advice. We both laughed at loud at this (like we did with Ick's story of the day).

Jenny said...

Hey Watoos.. I saw your Shutterfly photos of the massive moose - scary! Joel and I were scared of seeing moose or bear on our hikes in the UP but were told we had a better chance of seeing them by going to the dump. Hmm...

By the way, why on earth do you call your husband Ickie? He just doesn't really strike me as one.

Thanks for sharing the love!

Watoosa said...

Hey Jen, His online name is Ickenham (inspired by Uncle Fred, Earl of Ickenham, in the Wodehouse books).

Jackamo said...

I told Watoosa, that you KNOW your spouse is a Cylon if you 'make love' in front of a mirror and you notice that their spine is glowing red. It is a dead giveaway.