Ghosts

Moose by roadside, Route 16 between Milan and Erroll, NH
Moose by roadside, Route 16 between Milan and Errol, NH

We saw our first moose—mooses? meese?—last night. It could have been five, or two, because I kept driving us back and forth, hoping to see them re-emerge from the woods. Usually one would. But then we’d see others in other places, in places we didn’t think the originals could’ve gotten to in time.

The moose were more ominous and unsettling than majestic. They didn’t care that we were watching them. When they decided to vanish into the trees, that’s what they did. Their spindly, knobby legs disappeared among the spindly knobby trees, followed by their dark, mangy coats. One walked less than a couple of yards into the trees and stopped, almost completely invisible.

The animals didn’t photograph well. I took about a hundred different images, none of them good. Most I had to process to the extreme just to make the animal visible. I know I had my settings right—manual one time, auto the next. The moose were hazy and indistinct even when out in the open.

People hit moose with their cars all the time. Usually the moose are killed and sometimes the people, too. Moose are active in the morning and early evening when the light is tricky. If you’re driving along at 50 mph, it’s probably as though a part of the forest has come to life and appeared in your lane. I’m glad my commute is half a mile long and right through town.

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