‘Tis the season for birds to sing, right? Would it surprise you to learn that one of the bird songs I hear here in inland Alaska is that of gulls? We’re only about 50-60 miles from the ocean, so maybe that’s not unusual, but there are gulls in Denali as well. I wasn’t aware of inland gulls until I came to Alaska, and even now the sound triggers feelings and memories of trips to the beach. Those are good summery, vacationy feelings. Never mind the long johns.
And, of course, the moose/garden saga continues.
This picture was taken this morning. The moose, I believe, is a yearling cow, so a teenager. She hangs out with her brother still. Her brother is the brown thing in the background on the right of this picture:
He’s got velvety nubs on his head, the perfect size for tweaking and saying, “Honk!” Rumor has it that growing antlers are rather sensitive, though, so I guess I’ll refrain. Well, that and I prefer not to be trampled. Both teens are smallish, as moose go, but they’re still bigger than I am.
When the cow stuck her head through the fence to sniff the raspberry stalk, I opened the window and firmly but gently told her, “No, that one’s mine.” She looked at me for a moment, pulled her head out, trotted a few paces away, then went back to browsing. Her brother merely watched.
On the way home from the mailbox yesterday afternoon, a cow with newborn twins stepped out onto the road in front of me. I froze, said “Hi, Moose,” and waved (we wave at bears, so why not moose?). The cow looked at me a moment then turned and led her calves up the road and off on a trail on the opposite side. That’s the first I’ve seen that family.
I’m telling you, this place is rotten with moose this year.
Hares have a 7-year cycle: there will be tons of them, predators will increase because of the increased food, then hare numbers will be reduced and predators will decrease. It’s a regular thing. Lynx populations follow hare populations pretty closely. We seem to be at the top of the hare cycle right now, and while I’ve never heard of a moose cycle, we seem to be at the top of one of those, too.
I also saw my first hare-in-the-yard yesterday. I see them down by the road all the time, but not in the yard.
Sigh. My poor garden.
I woke up to deer in our front yard today. The wooded area they used to live in has been thinned and the underbrush removed (booo), so they are ranging more. Our lawn mower is broken and the grass is very tall. They made some inroads on my herbs, but not significant. One of my cats was watching them in amazement- she knew they didn’t belong in her space, but wasn’t about to take them on.