We set off very early again, this time for the Grand Tetons NP, which has far more suitable moose habitat than Yellowstone. FYI, moose are the king of the meadows, and they love soggy meadow land with loads of willows to munch on.
Early on the road, we happened across a porcupine, which was ten kinds of awesome!
We arrived at willow flats
(seems like a shoe in, right?) only to be told there were five moose there yesterday, but nothing today.
We jotted down the road to Oxbow Bend, another supposed moose guarantee, to find a beautiful view at sunrise, but no moose.
Obsession festers, and we spend the early morning trolling the meadow area overlooks for a glimpse of these massive animals.
Finally, we gave up and toured the rest of the park.
At one in the afternoon, an unlikely time to see any animals really, we stopped at willow flats once again, and I scanned the land with my binoculars as a gesture to habit rather than hope.
The first thing I saw was a huge, deeply fanned antler. Then it disappeared. While the willow seems like knee-high shrubs from the outlook, they were large enough to hide a large adult male. For the record, adult bulls reach seven feet tall at the shoulder, are about ten feet long and can weigh up to 1200 pounds!
I gasped, maybe cursed, and frantically searched while repeatedly telling Jeremy, “I saw a moose. I swear I did. I saw it.”
After a seemingly eternal ten seconds, he reappeared, and we both watched as he chewed and pranced (really, there isn’t another word for what he was doing) through the meadow. I had a goofy happy look on my face for hours. We were the only ones on the hill, the only people who saw him, and it’s going down as one of my favorite wildlife moments thus far!