At first, I couldn’t think of anything appropriate … and then, I saw Cee’s pictures and a light bulb went off somewhere in my brain.
Up here in the mountains, near the Canadian border, it’s all about the moose. But not just living, breathing, furry moose. Everything is moosey. This cabin, from the kitchen counter, to the base of the coffee table, to the lamps, upholstery, wall decorations, and trim on the bathroom walls … it’s all about moose.
This is actual moose antler. It is a lamp base, one of several moose-themed lamps in the cabin.
And please, let’s not forget the upholstery!
Embedded in the kitchen counter …
In the bedrooms, the quilts feature moose, bear, deer, and geese. With coordinating moose throw pillows.
The dishes show pictures of moose. There is moose wallpaper and trim in the bathroom. I will save the moose coffee table and matching lamp, as well as the actual portrait of a bull moose over the fireplace, for a separate post.
Suffice to say, they are serious about moose in this neck of the woods.
It’s the night before an important event: a big exam, a major presentation, your wedding. How do you calm your nerves in preparation for the big day?
Well I’ll be darned if this isn’t downright appropriate. Today is the day before an important event. Yes indeed, tomorrow Marilyn and Garry pack everything — or nearly everything — we own, into the car. Then drive north, north, north, north until we finally finish our journey in Jackman, Maine.
Where you ask, is Jackman, Maine? I’m glad you asked that question. It isn’t on Google maps. Too small. It certainly is located near … well … nothing much, unless you count natural stuff like lakes, mountains, rivers, streams and …
If Jackman isn’t moose central, than I don’t know what is. Last time we were there (three years ago) it was May. Not a particularly good time to see moose because they have babies with them and the weather is warming up. They aren’t especially frisky in warm weather. Moose like it cold. They aren’t comfortable until the thermometer dips into the 20s. That would be Fahrenheit. For you who live by Celsius (the world), that’s minus 7 and lower. In other words, cold.
Moose have thick hides and a goodly amount of fur. They are happiest while humans are bundled up, sitting by a fire with hot cocoa, complaining about the weather and dreaming of spring. That’s when out huge hoofed and antlered pals finally stop wishing someone would turn on the air-conditioning. Mind you, they lose a lot of weight in the winter because there’s not much to eat, but they chow down like there’s no tomorrow all through the spring, summer, and fall just so they’ll have fat to burn when the snow comes.
October is a special month for them. November too. Their hormones rage. Moose are horny (sorry about the pun). It’s rutting time in the great north land.
Horny moose are irritable, frustrated, and moody. Especially guy moose. All they want is a big furry lady moose to snuggle up to, make a few baby moose. Instead, they have to compete with other bulls who have the same idea. Then, there are annoying people like me and my camera. Who are those aggravating naked weasels flashing lights at them?
“I think,” says Bullwinkle, “I’m going to go crush one of those annoying critters, yes I am.”
This is why, although I want very much to get some fantastic pictures of the big guys, I have to admit that I might not. Moose are nocturnal. Not much into sunshine (too warm and bright, thank you very much). They come out mostly after sunset, which makes taking their picture more difficult … unless you use a big strobe. But big strobes are annoying under the best of circumstances. Not to mention I don’t actually own a big strobe, not since I gave up wedding photography long years ago.
Regardless, if I did, would I really want to flash my equipment in the face of an already grumpy 3,000 pound bull moose? After which he might decide to pound me into Marilyn jelly? I can’t even run any more, so he’d have a high old time taking care of me. I might not even get a chance to explain how I’m a blogger and my followers want moose pictures. He might prefer not to listen.
Moose can be quite unreasonable.
So tomorrow is a big day. It’s a five-hour drive if there is no traffic. We are taking the coastal road — Route 95 to Maine — than inland via Route 201. With pit stops for nature, lunch, and groceries. It will be a long day. We should get started on errand running now, but instead, here I am, writing and there’s Garry, on his computer doing exactly the same thing. With the dogs between us. Snoring.
But it’ll be fine. Just FINE I tell you! Maybe even finer than fine.
Jackman, here we come!
First, a little music … Edith Piaf and Yves Montand singing Autumn Leaves. Just for you. Why does everything sound better in French?
The Mumford is barely a trickle of its former self, but it’s still beautiful. The trees are turning, brighter every day.
The leaves reflect in the water and the sky is cloudless and blue. Autumn is our best season, when New England takes her fanciest clothing out of storage and steps out. The trees and the grasses glow with color. The air is amber and everything is beautiful.This is the season I wait for.
I hope it’s a great one. An epic Autumn.
May it rain every night, but clear by morning.
According to everything I have read, this lion isn’t really black. It’s a hoax, a Photoshop manipulation. It is however, not a genetic impossibility. Color mutations among creatures great and small are never impossible. This particular picture originally showed (supposedly) a very rare white lion that has been manipulated to appear black.
I’m not sure why showing an extremely rare white lion would be less intriguing than a black one, but there you go. It doesn’t have to make sense.
It still hasn’t rained. Rain is in the forecast and maybe it’ll be enough to make a difference. There’s more predicted for next week, though I have no idea how accurate prediction for 10 days from now can be. We can certainly hope.
On the up side of the drought, the foliage is glorious.
Autumn is our finest time, when New England shakes off her drab old clothing and puts on her coat of many colors. It’s a party for nature and it’s special and gorgeous. A simple ride to the grocery store is breathtaking.
I think it’s heading for an epic-level Autumn. But I’m still hoping that after the leaves have peaked, perhaps Mother Nature will take pity on us and send the rain.
I needed an airing. My cameras needed exercise. So, finally, I got my act together and we went out to take some pictures. Where to go?
Sometimes, the path of least resistance works out best. We went into town, parked and walked to the Mumford River and the dam. With trepidation. I didn’t know how bad it would be. As it turned out, better than I had hoped, at least for photography.
Because there, right in front of the dam where it used to be deep with a powerful current, stood a blue heron. So still he might have been a statue. Garry spotted him and we dove for our cameras.
We had nothing to fear. He stood there, unmoving, for so long I thought maybe there was something wrong with him. Then, he started to move. Walked over to the spill way … and grabbed a fish. And swallowed it. Then, in his new position along the side by the spillway, he again went still. I guess he was waiting for another fish. He was still standing there when we packed our gear and headed home.
The Mumford is very low. It’s no more than a few inches deep, but at least it’s wet. I guess, from the heron’s viewpoint, it’s better this way. Because when the river was “normal,” a wading bird couldn’t fish there.