Sunday, December 13, 2015

the inspectors

What's seven feet tall, weighs half a ton, and sneaks about quietly on official business?

moose wearing official inspector's regalia.
Yes, it's Alces alces, the majestic moose!

When I moved to Alaska six years ago I wanted to live in a log cabin and see moose from my window. Easier said than done. I have seen them in my yard on occasion, but more often I see their sign. They are stealthy, and though they tend to be active during the day, right now in Alaska "day" is mostly dark, so my chances of seeing them are pretty low. They are more likely to be seen at the close of summer when they boldly saunter into yards to inspect vegetable gardens, or later in the fall when hollowed-out pumpkins left on porches keep them busy overtime.

This winter began with lots of snow, leaving a deep white blanket unmarred for weeks up until the last 36 hours. Then on Saturday I looked out my kitchen window and noticed the first moose tracks.  By this morning the tracks had doubled. I decided to try to make sense of them by creating a map. Like all inspectors, they show up unannounced and stick their long noses into everything, including the path to my firewood which reposes under a tarp tied to some spruce trees, and which now bears the stamp of the cloven hoof.

As always, they left a few Proofs of Observation (see map).

inspection route awarded three Proofs Of Observation (POOs)