Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just Another Monday Night in Alaska

I had a couple of posts I intended to put up last night.

Instead I spent the entire evening in the shop.

It wasn’t entirely my fault, see there were several tons of meat between me and the computer.

I had stepped outside to see if the sky was clear. There was supposed to be a meteor shower. I was standing in the drive, in the pitch dark, staring up into the sky waiting for my eyes to adjust when I realized that I was not alone.

I could hear breathing.

Really close.

The heavy breathing became what could only be described as snorting. Either there was a large animal directly behind me, or Rush Limbaugh was sucking down a hogie in my bushes.

Either way, this was not a good thing.

I turned around slowly…and suddenly found myself, literally, face to face with a large bull moose. About three feet away.


He was standing in the bushes directly between the house and the shop. In the pitch dark he was damned near invisible, unless you were about, say, three feet away. If you don’t understand how I could walk up on a half ton animal without noticing, you don’t live in Alaska or understand anything about moose – the bastards can turn invisible when they want to.

Here’s the really good part – it’s rut. And the object of his desire was a very large cow moose…who happened to be across the drive against the trees about fifty feet away. And I was standing directly in between them.

But wait, as they say on those TV commercials, there’s more.

The cow had two large yearling calves with her. They were about twenty feet away, near the front of the attached garage. Fortunately, they were small, only about 800 pounds or so.

I was surrounded by a herd of moose.

Remember that scene in Never Cry Wolf, where Charles Martin Smith is running naked amongst the caribou? Yeah, like that, only I wasn’t naked (considering that it was about –15F, that was probably a good thing). I took off for the shop, before Bullwinkle could decide in his dim little brain that I was some kind of impediment to his hookup and stomp my ass into the driveway gravel. I spent the next few hours in the shop like a college kid waiting in the hall for his roommate to finish up with that girl he met at the bar. The noises from the driveway were, uh, enthusiastic.

I found something to occupy my time:


I made this while I was out there waiting for Bullwinkle and his squeeze to finish up. The birdhouse is black locust and rosewood. It’s quit large.

I also turned two bowls to rough and cleaned and oiled the lathes.

So, you know, it wasn’t a total loss.


  1. Look at the bright side. At least it wasn't one of those interspecies pervert moose from the National Man Moose Love Association.

  2. Ah ha! Another reason for not living in Alaska! I'm referring, of course, to the -15F temperature, not necessarily the moose hijinks.

    I once had a Large Animal surprise while staying at the YMCA camp near Estes Park, Colorado. I sleepily stumbled into the bathroom one morning to find a rather large elk staring at me through the bathroom window.

    Dang, I sure miss living in Colorado.

  3. woah - glad he wasn't feeling cranky when you walked up.

    Nice birdhouse, too :)

  4. And now we know that moose don't find you attractive.

    Good to know.

    Just in case.

    (on a side note, if you lived in the right place in Maine, you could've dropped the moose and fed your family for a year... if you could've gotten one of the hunting permits. The season runs until the end of Nov.)

  5. HA! Great story. My husband tells a similar one of having to outrun a moose. He was riding his bike to work in Fairbanks, and managed to get between a mama and her baby. She pursued, and he pedaled fast as he could. He managed to get away, though she was only a couple of feet behind him for a good portion of the way. She must not have really wanted to catch him. Lucky for him. And me.

    Are you planning on selling that birdhouse? It's truly spectacular!

  6. That would have been a "First you say it, then you do it" moment for me.

    Have you read Dana Stabenow's book Breakup? She has the best bear then moose then airplane disaster scenario that I've ever read.

    And her descriptions make me want to try Moose Chili some day.

  7. That is the most adorable birdhouse, it almost looks like a baby sugar pumpkin.

    So we'll forgive you for not getting and posting moose-pr0n pics...

  8. only I wasn’t naked (considering that it was about –15F, that was probably a good thing)

    Talk about things that would seriously chap your ass.

    You should advertise for the Stonekettle Station Alcesian Romantic Getaway Package for lovesick meece. Although how a moose would pay for such services is a mystery.

  9. ...how a moose would pay for such services is a mystery.

    How any moose in gold country pays - nuggets...

  10. There really needs to be a comic book about a ninja moose.

  11. No meteors.

    Moose chili, it's like regular chili, only with moose. I'm not really sure what the attraction is. Moose meat is a hell of a lot leaner than beef, but it tastes about the same. Like elk or buffalo.

    Also, I fine with moose not finding my attractive. Really.

  12. When you post the next batch of birdhouses, can you give us an idea of bowl prices? (Moose-free, of course!)

  13. An eternity ago, when Karl and I were undergrads (I think Karl was around then...) the chancellor was trapped in her house by a mama and calves. It was quite amusing.

  14. Ah, yes, I recall the SunStar story. We had a few encounters of our own outside O'Neill. Heck, outside my own house...

    In the driveway...


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