Thursday, September 8, 2011

Glacier National Park - Day 4

Today was filled with all kinds of surprises as it turned out it was National Critter Day or something.  What started out as a very long drive over Logan's Pass, filled with all kinds of delays due to road construction, turned into a day of watching animals you just don't see wandering around Seattle.

I drove up to Many Glacier which is on the other side of Glacier NP, and as I pulled into the parking lot at the end of the road, I looked up the hill and saw this mamma bear and her two cubs slowly making their way along the ridge line, stopping every now and then to snack on Huckleberries that were spread over the hillside. They quickly drew a crowd in the parking lot with cameras and telescopes trained on every move they made. 

While watching the bear, I heard some people coming back from a hike, talk about a big Bull Moose that was just hanging out in a lake, eating and drinking so I packed up my gear and decided to go take a look.  When I got to the lake though, the bull was long gone but there was now a female in the other end of the lake.  She was maybe 30-40 yards away and didn't really seem all that bothered that people were standing around watching her submerge her head in the water for long periods of time as she ate from the grasses and plants growing in the lake.  Moose aren't all that pretty to begin with, but the wet look certainly doesn't help matters. 

I think I sat and watched the first moose for close to an hour, and then decided to hike back to my car and maybe come back later to see if the male had returned.  I almost missed out, because I got back to the lake just in time to see him decide the handful of people watching him was just too much.  He was climbing out of the lake and I had to hurry and set up my camera.  Just as I fired off a couple of shots, he stopped and just stood in this spot for about 30 minutes.  First just staring straight ahead, and then every now and then, turning to look right at me when he would hear my camera.  It was either that, or he was just turning his head away from the three photographers that had managed to circle around to his right.  Every time they raised their cameras, he would turn his head away.  It was pretty funny, and made me happy to be standing where I was because I got pretty decent shots of his face.  :)

Theses photos are straight out of the camera, with no adjustments to make them look better.... sorry. It was just too long of a day to mess with that now, and I'm off to bed!  :)

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