Last night as I was driving into town, something was in the middle of the road. With my old fart deteriorating eyesight, it looked like a very small child on a very small bike heading to Glacier Bear down the main road. For those of you who haven’t been to Yakutat (and it always amazes me that the vast majority of readers haven’t… How did you even find my blog and why?!?!), the airport is about 3 1/2 miles from “downtown”. Glacier Bear Lodge is about half-way to town. Just before you reach “the intersection”, there is a bridge that crosses Ophir Creek, then it rises and does a small S-curve. Then you are in town…
So this kid was just this side of the Ophir Creek bridge. As I got closer, I could see it was really a baby moose, standing about 3 feet tall on his spindly legs. He trotted off down the side road to the old Coast Guard station, no sign of mom anywhere. Hopefully she’ll find him, but if not, he’ll end up as food for wolves, coyotes, or bears. Every spring out at the Italio cabin, we would see fresh baby moose tracks running around with a cow, then about a week or so later, we’d see bear scat with baby moose hooves clearly visible. It is a wonder anything can really survive out there!
Anyway… I didn’t have a camera with me of course, but here are some photos from several years ago when we stumbled upon a similarly sized moose calf out at the Italio. We were driving the ATV back to the Dangerous River (about 7 miles from the cabin) and you could see tiny tracks all alone wandering all over the sandflats. We came up to this little dehydrated/exhausted ball of fur on the sand. He eventually stood up, but didn’t run off. He was at least two miles from the nearest tree, so mom wasn’t going to find him out there. My guess is he didn’t make it through the night.
Once in town, I asked Fish and Game if it was legal for me to take him and feed him and keep him alive. They wouldn’t tell me it was illegal, but advised against it… Too late by that time. Hopefully this latest little guy will find his mom and have a chance survive. This is a hard place to survive!
On this same trip to the cabin, we also saw a bald eagle right along the surfline. As we drove closer, we discovered he was about to peck the eyes out of a tiny baby seal. The mom seal was franticly darting back and forth about 50 feet off shore in the surf, but obviously had no ability to get her stubborn child back into the water, even with an eagle about to peck out his eyes! So we gently shoo’d him back into the water and to his mom’s safe flippers.
It was a busy week for critters that week back in 2005 (isn’t Tanis adorable?)… Right outside the cabin door, there was a robin nest with a bunch of bright blue eggs… There is so much life around here (and death). What a place to live! You can come and visit for a week, but we get to live this every day of the year! We have so many blessings.