Sometimes I get lonesome for a moose to lumber through the back field, if only to prove that they really do exist, that these aren’t mythic beasts. Maine drivers are believers and, sadly, all too familiar with humongous ungulates who come strolling out of the woods and onto the highway. Vermonters often have to hunt for an encounter, as a few of us did one spring when the leaves were still as tender as the muzzle of an Alces alces. We rose before dawn and piled into a car, friends on a mission to glimpse the gangly cousins of lovely deer. We drove to their favored habitat, a patch of swampy woods. As the Sun’s rays broke over the hills, we pulled off by a “Moose Crossing” sign and waited like fools for our improbable quarry. When I think back now, I wonder: What were the odds of us spotting the apocryphal animal? But as luck would have it, within minutes, a shaggy specimen came stilting across the asphalt. Cell-phone cameras were still years away, so we have no photograph of the hulking bull who nonchalantly swiveled to consider our vehicle and then plodded on, leaving hoofprints the size of our amazed faces.
About this Podcast
Welcome to the monthly Farmer’s Calendar podcast. These essays come from The Old Farmer’s Almanac annual publication. They are recorded by Julia Shipley, the author and poet. She draws from her life raising animals and vegetables on a small farm in Northern Vermont.