Hail the Moose

Hail shoots to the ground — perfectly round pea-sized white ice. In minutes the grey cloud that was spitting icy pellets gives way to sunshine that cuts through the wet forest. From my sheltered tree hollow I observe how the radiant beams reach the ground and cause vapor to rise from the summer earth like miniature geysers.

A cow moose has moved out of the thick timber to an open meadow. All the hair, except the stiffer and longer strands of mane that are standing straight up, is plastered to her body. It makes this already gangly creature look even more awkward. She gazes at me with an almost embarrassed look as if I caught her half dressed. There is steam rising from the ungainly creature as the sun continues to dry its inky body. I emerge from my cover and quietly walk past the meadow to let her regain her dignity.