I love summer days in the Rocky Mountains! Having finished a rewarding six mile hike at beautiful Piney Lake, situated in the Gore Range of Colorado, we were resting by the lake’s shore and enjoying the scenery before returning to our timeshare unit in Vail. Suddenly and surprisingly quietly, two large moose walked by us on their way to the lake. They wadded into the clear water and started munching on water-plants growing close to shore. They were not disturbed by our presence and were close enough that I was able to take some nice photos.
Moose are huge, the largest of all the deer species. Males carry massive antlers which can have a span of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters). They are very long-limbed and tall (up to 2 meters at their shoulder), and they can weigh up to 1800 pounds (830 kg). That weight is comparable to that of the bulls used in the arenas of Spain, but spread over a larger frame. Moose enjoy eating aquatic grasses and shrubs and in winter also eat pine-cones. They have broad feet that help keep the animal from sinking in mud or snow. They are surprisingly good swimmers.
Everyone needs to be aware that moose are of very unpredictable temperament, so never get too close to them no matter how slow, stupid or timid they appear to be. They can run up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) an hour over short distances, and trot steadily at 20 miles (32 kilometers) an hour, so there’s no way you can outrun them should they decide to charge you. And they have been known to attack and kill people, even without provocation. Best to get some trees between you and the moose as the spread of their antlers limits their movement in thick woods. Should they chase you, climb a tree if you can.