Along the Natchez Trace

Thursday, May 22, 2014

We Have Arrived!

More about our drive here (and about all the family and friends we saw) in another blog.  But I just have to report on our arrival at Aroostook NWR way up here in northern Maine.

We arrived around 1:30 pm...  talked a bit with Steve, the refuge manager...

Hey!  Look at this!  Just to the side of the parking lot...  Yep!  That's SNOW!  They got 140" of snow  over the winter and this is what's left.   By 2pm headed down to get set up in our RV site.   Well, actually, Bill set up... I couldn't wait to head to one of my favorite ponds...

Sure enough...
Way off across the pond was this moose.  I'm not sure whether a bull or a cow, as the bulls, especially one this young, wouldn't have antlers yet...  Kind of shaggy looking, but winter's been rough and the new summer "coat" should be on it's way.  I always try to guess how soon after we get here I'll see my first moose...  bear...  whatever.  I think today was the best ever!

Shortly after we set up and went for a drive around the refuge with Kirk,  who has been with the refuge since it became a refuge in 1998, we saw a mama moose and her calf (no photos of these)...  and then...

Mama Bear (sow)  in a field off in the distance....  with..

her twin cubs not far away.  These would be cubs born last year.  Baby bears stay with their Moms for 2 years.  And mama bear gives birth to cubs only every 2 years.

Of course I'm thrilled to see any and everything!  We saw a loon...  (again, no photo), a couple of groundhogs,
A few Hooded Merganzers..  (this is a male)....

A Porcupine (this would be a great "the end" photos, because by the time I got my camera in focus, he was well on his way...

And yet another moose...
Maybe another cow...  this one a couple of miles from the pond where I saw the other one.  But..  again, a very shaggy coat....

We saw several beaver, but they splashed heartily into the water before I  could snap their photo.  However, as we were eating dinner, I glanced out the window and saw something in the pond across from us...
This big Beaver had been down along the waters edge but decided to cross the road to the other side (another pond there)...  and while the photo I got wasn't very good, it confirmed that I was seeing a beaver (see his "paddle" tail?).

So between 2pm and 6 pm, we saw 4 moose, 3 bear, 1 porcupine, several species of ducks, 2 Canada geese, 1 loon, and several beaver.  We also saw several species of birds, including several Yellow-bellied sapsuckers.

Quite a beginning!

Our last summer here was 2012...  the year I began my blog...  so those of you who have been with me for a while may get some "repeat" photos of the wildlife here.  Honestly, I never tire of seeing moose, bear or anything else, but just a bit of a warning about what the next 3 months will be like.

The work day starts at 6am here...  so I'll catch up more on what's going on in a later blog.  I can only say...

It's SO good to be back!

That's All For Today!

(Thursday update...  I did see 2 whitetail deer, 1 more bear and 1 more moose before bedtime last night.  What a great beginning to the summer.  However, we don't seem to have internet at our RV site - not sure what we'll do to fix that problem...  to send this we drove 5 miles or so away from the Canadian border (our RV site is very close to New Brunswick)....  so right now my blogs may be a few days apart.)


  1. It looks as though your camping digs have welcomed you back. Enjoy, but be wary of those big bears.

  2. Since I didn't know about your blog in 2012, I'll look forward to seeing all your pictures. Have a wonderful summer in Maine!

  3. Wow, talk about the extremes of geography. From Costa Rica all the way to Maine. Hope you took your woollies with you.

  4. Wow - you saw all kinds of good stuff already!

  5. Looking forward to the moose and other wildlife photos! Enjoy your summer!

  6. That was quite a wildlife windfall in just a few hours. Should be a very interesting and exciting stay.

    My new blog site:
    Rick’s Bits ‘n Bytes, Pics and News

  7. Wow. You're off to a great start! Looking forward to seeing more from Maine.

  8. Always LOVE your wildlife shots!!! What a lot !!!! Good start...

  9. What a magnificent place!!!! I never get tired of seeing wildlife photos so keep them coming!!!!

  10. What a great place to see and photograph wildlife!! Can't wait to see what you come up with next. That first day was sure full of great sightings. Enjoy yourself. Is there any geocaches in the area to find?

  11. I really enjoy seeing the moose, so I'm glad you're back.

  12. I just know you gonna have a ball there. Enjoying all that fresh air, exercise, scenery and wildlife.

  13. Wow--very exciting! Glad you are back and keep sending those moose photos!

  14. Keep posting those pictures. The more the better. Becki

  15. Keep posting those pictures. The more the better. Becki