More Moose

Ever since the waterfall has been running, we've been blessed with wildlife visits.  Throughout July, it was a little of everything and then in early September, the moose made themselves comfortable for several days.  We hadn't seen them for a few weeks and assumed they left before the snow, but last Sunday, I woke up to see them chilling on the front lawn.
See Mailbox Monday 29Sep2013

Aren't they cute?  Maybe not cute, but incredibly distracting and amazing to watch.  In fact, we are so happy they choose our house that it is easy to overlook the steaming pile of moose droppings, pee ponds, and hoof holes everywhere!  If anyone knows how to train moose to walk on flagstone, please let me know.

We watched the mama and calf welcome the day, including seeing the calf milk once mama stood up.  Then, the quiet morning ended as they quickly moved to the backyard.  Naively, we assumed it was for a drink from the waterfall but we were quickly set straight.  A bull moose sauntered down the hill and into our driveway and then followed the smells to the back.
Moose Mating - she let him get this close over and over - as they wandered the neighborhood
Mama was onto him and for the next several hours, played with his hormones as the calf followed and was clearly as confused as the neighborhood kids.  Why does mama keep running away from dad?  Why are they making so many noises?  Why are they doing laps around the neighborhood?

We've always had moose in the neighborhood and been fortunate enough to see newborns in their first hours, but this mating ritual was a new experience.  We took several videos but never got footage that would make us youtube heroes.  We did cringe as they chased each other over the landscaping sending rocks tumbling and irrigation hose smashed, but who are we to get in the way of moose love.

We were able to break away for a few hours of mountain biking, literally, as we had to make a run for it while they were higher up in the cup-de-sac.  They were still going at it when we got home.
Mix of Fall and Winter on Jenni's
Jenny on Jenni's - happy not to worry about moose mating for a few hours

Colors starting to change

Monday, our office went on a lunch hike on the same trails we mountain biked on Sunday.  The weather was perfect and the colors were awesome.  I've said it before, but how refreshing to work with people that would rather hike at lunch than sit in a restaurant.
Monday Lunch Hike

Snow was in the forecast for Wednesday night, so I brought my mountain bike to work determined to get an hour in after work and before the storm.  I was about 10 minutes in, climbing up Armstrong and ran into riders coming downhill.  This is very unusual since Armstrong is an uphill only trail.  The riders informed me of a bull moose on the trail that was chasing a female and her calf.  Oh my, here we go again.

I continued climbing on high alert seriously wondering if it could be our bull and if mama had led him this far over.  Our bull had an injury on his knee and a relatively small rack, so would be easy to recognize.  I continued to meet riders coming down with reports of where they met the moose.  As I came close to the overview switchback, I saw him and he was much bigger than our bull with a huge rack!  He gave me a  look and I quickly turned around then hung out behind the bushes for a quick picture before headed downhill and letting all the uphill riders know his location.
Bull Moose on Armstrong - after giving me the eye and then moving off the trail - I turned back at this point
Amazing colors on Armstrong - just hours before the snow

The snowplows were on the street early Thursday and snow covered the backyard.  I like to call this season Falter (Fall and Winter).  Temps stayed low so after a couple days in the gym, it was time to bundle up for a Saturday morning road ride.
Waterfall covered in snow but still running for the moose
Saturday Road Ride - starting temp = 29F

By Sunday, the temps were finally rising so decided to wait until early afternoon for a mountain bike.  Unfortunately, the snow had started melting leaving too much mud on Armstrong and Jenni's to ride.  After a quick try and completely covering the bike in mud, it was off to Round Valley for dry trails.  Seemed like everyone in Park City was on the trail system, which made it more of a social ride than a training ride.  Oh well, you take what you can get in Falter and moose mating seasons.
MTB in Round Valley - cycling & sneezing in sagebrush while the pretty trails are covered in mud & snow