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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Moose tracks

On Thanksgiving Eve, it seems right to discuss the moose, especially since one was spotted this week in the Thomaston area, up to her withers in a swamp. Regretfully, I'm not in Maine this week, or I might have been one of the scores of people who rushed out to witness this sacred event. Thankfully, I'm not in Maine this week, or I might have been one of the scores of people....

It's a rare event also. The only other sighting in our area that I can recall in the last 15 years was in Owls Head village, in the little pond across from the general store, well before the fame of the store's hamburgers brought the Volvo wagons to town. Well, there was also the mystical sighting in our own yard, I'm ashamed to admit, and I'm ashamed because the sighting was a supposed moose print in the garden, and the sighter was our real estate agent who pointed it out with some drama as we were considering buying the property. Somewhat later, I wondered if she had a certain implement in her trunk to seal deals with flatlanders.

Much better that folks rush around with cameras than with guns. Of course moose hunting is not allowed along the coast southwest of Belfast, so the Ms. in the swamp was in no danger. Or maybe she was escaping the carnage in Wildlife Management Districts 15, 16, 23, and 26, for those WMDs hovering over the midcoast allow moose hunting in November. It's not that far, maybe a 30-mile amble down Route 17 from Augusta (WMD 23 actually seems to contain the state capitol, but I didn't see politicians on the lists of game to be bagged) towards Rockland and then south; maybe Maine's entire herd of 30,000 should make the trek, giving thanks all the way for one of the few benefits of development, and then, on December 1, retreat to those north WMDs with the low numbers.

So I think the shy and quiet moose should be the symbol of Thanksgiving, not the bad-tempered turkey, for Thanksgiving is a holiday mellow and kind even though the Pilgrims weren't. The moose is already the state's animal, and keeps continued good health. There's still enough wilderness to sustain them, even apparently in Thomaston, and isn't the bounty and beauty of the land what we really give thanks for this week?

1 comment:

Jeff Boatright said...

Geeze, back when I visited Rackliff Island a couple of times of years, I saw moose several times, usually down off 73 at the end of one of the runways. Maybe it was the same moose every time?