Marty’s photos of the day #4383-4385: These photos are from Deb’s, Nellie’s, and my adventure last night. As we do every evening, we walked the path that follows the perimeter of the Essen Wildlife Refuge. We were on the far side, when this moose burst through the trees and cut onto the path―just in front of us.

We see moose often on our property, but such a maneuver was a first. We expressed the usual amount of moose-excitement, but mostly we were glad Nellie was on a leash (per our veterinarian’s instructions, we’ve been walking her on a leash for the past several months to help heal a slight limp).

Then, instead of continuing down the path as we expected the moose to do, she circled back toward us. While this was strange behavior, at the time I suspected that the moose didn’t notice us standing there quietly and had only decided to change directions. I pulled out my pocket camera and started shooting.

The moose walked right past us without any acknowledgement.

Not even a simple hello.

Moose are supposed to have poor eyesight, but this was ridiculous. Then the moose stopped on the opposite side of us.

Everything seemed cool until the moment she charged!

Deb and Nellie dashed for a tree on one side of the path, and I dove for a tree on the other side. The moose charged between us―missing Deb and Nellie by eight feet before heading directly for me, only to veer at the last possible moment.

It’s amazing how fast the human brain can think in such instances, as I was already wondering if I would be fast enough to keep the tree between the moose and me.

Once the moose stopped again, she was between us and our normal route to the house. We didn’t take a chance of a second encounter and looped around in the opposite direction.

Upon reflection of what happened, our best guess for the moose’s behavior is that she had a baby stashed in the woods near the path and was trying to draw us away. When we didn’t follow, she swung back around to chase us away.

Needless to say, we will all be on high-alert for a baby moose appearance. And if that happens, I will use my big camera with the powerful lens to shoot some photos from a safe distance.