On the Fringe
Wildlife Edges Closer
Story and Photos by Larry Cohen
About ten yards down the side trail I spotted her as she looked for bits of food in the winter terrain.
I slowed down so she would have little concern when she inevitably noticed me standing twenty yards away. I attached my zoom lens to the camera and adjusted the settings to take in as much available light as possible while still hopefully freezing any motion. Then I waited a bit, letting her get comfortable with my presence while I learned how to anticipate her movements.
Finally, I tucked in my elbows to stabilize myself and took a high-speed series of images that followed her as she lifted her head out of a snowbank. I was thrilled when a quick review of the images revealed that I had caught a comic expression, which I knew would be one of my favorite moose photographs ever. I watched her for a few more minutes, taking other shots as she reached for branches overhead, and then I said goodbye for now.
The most surprising thing to me about the encounter was that this animal had taken up temporary residency in my condo complex. The side trail was a walking path between units and the trees she was grazing on were part of our carefully constructed landscaping (she seemed to particularly enjoy the crabapple trees). After the short walk home, I phoned Fish and Wildlife and learned that their policy was to let the animal be and they would intervene only if she became belligerent.