A Hunt for Moose
My brother, Captain Don, told me on Monday that he had seen a cow moose and two newborn calves, twins clearly, on the Scoville Point Trail on Monday afternoon while he was at the island on the Queen IV's regular run. On Tuesday, I served as captain on the run and went down toward Scoville Point to check out the many swamps along the way to see whether I could find those three moose. I criss-crossed several the the swamps down that way, a mile or so east of the Rock Harbor Lodge and marina, where the Queen IV docks. I went up the ridge toward Tobin Harbor, back down again toward Rock Harbor through the wetlands. The photo is of what it looks like to cross a swamp on Isle Royale. What you can't quite see is all the water lying beneath the grass and other vegetation. The trees, wickedly tangled as they are, are tag alders, typical of north-country swamps. The forest floor is covered with old blown-down trees which are now rotting and covered in moss and grasses and other sundry plants. It's hard work crossing these swamps, but the moose do it all the time. You can find their soggy, beaten trails throughout these areas. I saw lots of tracks, large and small (those young moose, presumably), but I had no luck finding the family of moose Don saw, which you might have guessed since I didn't post a photo of them. One has to have time and patience to see wildlife out at the island. Luck, too. Alas, I am pretty unlucky when it comes to moose hunting. But, wouldn't you know, two elderly ladies on a stroll saw a couple moose down the Rock Harbor Trail on the same afternoon.