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The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
Close Encounters...of the Moose Kind
by Marilyn Weymouth Seguin

I confess that I have a thing for moose—the animals, not the fraternity.   

Over the years, I have collected many moose items to decorate my camp on
Little Sebago Lake in Maine.  Too many. There’s the trademarked image of the
regal and majestic moose on the toothpick holder on my stove, and on the dish
towel, and on the bathroom rug.  And then there’s the colorful resin grinning
moose holding a bottle of wine on his back, a thank you gift from a summer
visitor. I also have a moose puzzle and three books about moose.

Once I saw moose tracks in the soft dirt at the edge of my camp road.  But even
though my camp is located in a game preserve, in all the summers
I’ve been there, I’ve never spotted a moose in the wild.

I know they are nearby though, especially in June, when news reports of
motorists’ encounters with moose are frequent. These encounters are almost
always fatal. By mid-July I don’t hear much about these traffic encounters.  
I guess by then, the moose have migrated to the cooler part of the forest where
they stay put.

Last June, an old college friend invited me and two others to visit for a
weekend at her camp on Moosehead Lake in Greenville, Maine.  The four of us
had corresponded regularly over the years, but we’d not been in the same
room together for nearly three decades. It was time for a reunion.  

The conversation and the food and wine would be wonderful, of course. “The
sunsets are spectacular and you’re sure to see moose at this time of year,”
promised my friend.  Moosehead Lake in west central Maine has 400 miles of
ruggedly magnificent shoreline—and plenty of moose.

So one evening during our visit we loaded ourselves and our cameras into our
friend’s SUV and went in search of a moose.  Not even two miles down the
road we spotted a solitary moose foraging on an overgrown logging road
adjacent to the main road. The moose slowly raised her head as we pulled to
the side of the road to photograph her, but she did not run away.  

She was neither regal nor majestic, not like the moose on my bathroom rug.
With her cartoonish head and long legs, this huge, lummoxy creature made
eye contact with me once and stopped to resume her meal. After five or six
minutes had passed, she turned and glided quietly through the brush into the
forest. Not a twig snapped.  How did she do that, we wondered.

When I got home, I Googled “moose” and got 18,000,000 hits—many of them
were for the fraternity, not the animal.  I discovered I have quite a bit in
common with moose, the creatures of the forest. Moose tend to be solitary
creatures.  So am I. Moose are gentle vegetarians.  I’m not a vegetarian, but I
could be one. Moose usually become aggressive only when tired, hungry or
harassed by dogs or people.  Me too.  In spite of being awkwardly engineered,
moose can swim gracefully (same here) and run up to 35 miles per hour (not
quite).  They are not predators, so they seek no harm.

It is no wonder that I have long been attracted to moose.  

See also
Moose Safety

About the author Marilyn Weymouth Seguin is the author of thirteen books (both
fiction and nonfiction) and dozens of newspaper and feature articles.  She holds degrees
in English and Communication from the University of Maine and the University of
Akron.  She teaches in the English Department at Kent State University.  Marilyn lives
with her husband Rollie and the family dog, Oliver, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and Gray,
Maine.  They have two grown children.
A very serious female moose
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