02 September 2013
A Mountain Day
Last week, when our painting workshop was at Brainard Lake, we saw lots of sign that moose were in the area, so I resolved to come back to see them early one morning. Today, the last day of my vacation, we did just that, rising in the wee dark hours of morning, driving through the slow rising light in the eastern sky and arriving at Brainard Lake minutes after sunrise. It's a time of long shadows and crisp mountain breezes that make one grateful for a warm jacket. It's also the time when the moose are out and about.
Right away, we spotted a large bull, his antlers still red from having just lost his velvet, probably within just a few hours prior.
What magnificent creatures ~ with just a touch of the humorous in that long soft snout.
Autumn is already underway in the high country and there are just a few flowers left at this altitude (10,500 feet). The little alpine harebells were scattered across the ground ~ so pretty in the early morning light!
The morning just got more and more beautiful as the sun rose in the sky.
We moved around the lake to view the moose from a different angle. This fellow knew he was being watched! There were at least 3 different professional wildlife photographers there taking photos and a number of other people watching. Thankfully no unhappy encounters!
The bull on the left is flinging his head back and forth trying to dislodge the last large streamers of velvet that are clinging to his antlers. He got quite frantic about it and we had the opportunity to watch this enormous beast dancing around in what seemed to be the silliest of antics!
In all, there were three large bulls that we watched.
After three hours of watching the moose, we headed down the road and stopped briefly at Red Rock Lake, which is covered in lily pads and reeds. Lovely spot!
The rest of the day we spent in Rocky Mountain National Park. Sitting by the shores of Bear Lake was the perfect way to end our mountain outing!