Sorry for not posting for such a long time! I often ask Jack to take more photos on the road but he’s too busy trucking! So you’re stuck with a few photos of this lovely young moose chomping on willows.
She was really feasting up a storm on Chena Hot Springs Road yesterday.
She’s stripping the leaves off the willow branches.
And doing a thorough job of it!
I bet you didn’t know Moose could open their mouths that wide! (Just kidding, that’s just her lip I think, but it looks funny.)
Here she is being alert. She is actually quite small for a moose that is without a mother. I’m sure she’s a yearling and probably only about 4 1/2 feet at the shoulder (wild guess!). (Calling her a “she” is also a guess.)
A major avalanche happened very recently along the Richardson Highway, about 20 or so miles from Valdez. Below are photos Jack was able to acquire from a friend – taken by Alyeska (and we hope no copyright has been violated by posting them here).
You can see here where the snow has covered the highway and the river that runs alongside it:
Here is the same thing but farther away.
And the rest are from another angle, showing the pooling of river water that is covering a long stretch of the highway.
So needless to say the Richardson Highway is closed and people who live in Valdez can only get out of the town by water or air. Jack says the snow will be removed by loaders but that sure seems like a dangerous job…!
We’ve never heard of this before but there’s a squirrel around here who likes to scrape the tines off of moose antlers!
Several times over the summer we heard a mysterious scraping sound coming from the area where Jack’s moose antlers are stored in the woods. We knew the resident squirrel was up to something and sure enough, when we inspected the antlers a few days ago, the tips were scraped off the tines! Jack says he thinks it’s the squirrel sharpening his teeth and you can actually find a couple of references to this on the internet. (Here is a link to a video of a squirrel sharpening its teeth on some other kind of antlers, in some other part of the country. Our squirrel looks much different, smaller and more orange-red. It could be that the squirrel is getting some kind of nutrient from them too and in the video it almost looks like the squirrel is eating the bits of antler.)
Jack hopes to get a chance to replace the antlers this hunting season!
He’s been working on that pile for a few weeks. They still need to be split but he’s made good progress.
Jack says he enjoys cutting wood a lot more than the project he had to tackle back in May:
Cutting Sport’s hair. He tried the trimmers but they didn’t work so we whipped out the scissors.
Poor Sport, I know. He was miserable. But the next day he ran around like the world had just been lifted off his shoulders. And later, when we had 90 degrees, though he had surely forgotten about the heavy coat he had in winter, he still seemed grateful. :)
Summer was sensational! 80 and even 90 degree weather. It was heavenly.