I cautiously step back a couple of steps and snap a couple of photos while he stares me down with mild curiosity. Wanting to appear harmless and relaxed, I sit down on the wet ground and take a few more photos after adjusting my camera. He turns his back to me and stares off into the forest, ears cocked to what only he can hear. I move a couple of steps away to a fallen aspen tree and sit down more comfortably. His ear flicks in my direction and I can see him surreptitiously watching me from the back corner of one eye.
|Browsing Bull Moose|
The sun is bright and warm for the 13th of November here in central Alberta instead of cold and snow covered as it should normally be. The aspen forest has long lost its leafy foliage which lay matted on the ground, silenced by last nights rainfall. It is mid afternoon and the autumn sun sits low in the southern sky with a slight whisper of breeze wafting my scent directly toward the bull. Deep in the distant forest, I hear a woodpecker tapping his exploratory notes on a dead tree as the bull begins to munch his cud.
I take out an apple that I carry for my snack and begin chewing on that. He turns around to face me as if I invited him to afternoon lunch. He steps closer to me and begins to nip off some tender shoots of aspen about 10 feet away. I bite and chew as he nips and chews like we are taking tea together. Never have I been in such privileged company. For over an hour we dine and chat as the sun slowly settles toward the south western horizon. I have an hour to walk out of the bush so I finally bid him good-bye thanking him profusely for his gracious company. This is one of those unforgettable days that I am so thankful for. It brings us down to what is really important and meaningful in our busy lives. Two diverse species, possible predator and prey sitting down for lunch without fear enjoying each others company.