Sunday, July 26, 2009

Valdez- Moose Calf Drama



The scenario started when the Camera Gear Lackey and I first observed a cow and her calf on two different sides of a small island that was located in the middle of a raging river, on our way into Valdez, AK. It was late in the evening and not much light for photography.The day was unusually warm and causing the river water to be high and run fast due to glacier melt.

The pair were separated because the cow was checking for the best place to cross the river. When she located the best spot, she came back and beckoned the calf to cross with her.

Off they went together for the adventurous crossing.

As they started across, there was plenty of sturdy river bottom beneath them.

But, as they started to cross the main stem of the river, both lost their footing and the current took them quickly down stream.

The cow, due to hear long legs, was able to find a footing and get to the shallow water. The calf, on the other hand, was really struggling. We didn't think the little fellow was going to make it. The cow stayed with the little guy, following along, as the current took him down stream.

To our relief, the little calf eventually found some solid footing and it appeared that he was going to be able to make it. Mom was anxiously awaiting.

The reunion was a great one, with mom rewarding the calf with a kiss on his joyous arrival on solid river bottom. The calf was a tad unsteady on his feet after the ordeal. Then they both causally sauntered off into the woods.

Blue Skies.

16 comments:

Elaine said...

Nice series of shots! Life is not easy for a moose calf and they have a high mortality rate. Glad to see this little guy made it across the river okay.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

What a scary expereince that must have been for the little fellow. I am sure my legs would have been shaking too. :)

A wonderful series you shared with us Ken. Thank you.

Marfa (formula for a life) said...

Love the photos. What great timing on your part!

Tim Rucci said...

Wonderful images, and it's great to see a happy ending to a story like this. Seems you did really well with the photos in spite of what you described as poor light. Looks like you are getting to be a current day "Marlin Perkins". (remember Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom"?)

HBFG said...

Hi, I don't know if you are into Blogger Awards, but I have one waiting for you on my blog.. pick it up if you like ;-)

Great shots as usual! :))

T and S said...

that's amazing wildlife action caught on camera Ken, I enjoyed every frame of it.

Juan C. Aguero said...

Good history and good photos,
Greetings

Andor Marton said...

A very dramatic series, but with happy end.
Life can be sometime cruel, but that's the natural selection. That calf is a tuff one and probably a winner.

Jose's World said...

Great sequence with a happy ending.
I was expecting to see you jump in the river and rescue the calf with the Lackey photographing your deed.

Uncommon Depth said...

What an experience. I wouldn't have been able to watch for fear of the outcome.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Poor thing. I'll bet he was exhausted. What a sight to witness. I'm so glad there was a good outcome though. That would have been hard to watch had it not had a good outcome.

Bradley Myers said...

Ken, great series and story. I am glad the calf made it to safety and that you were there to see it.

I did make it to Boy Scout camp last week. My son did well and is on his way at joining me in the Eagle Scout ranks.

Enjoy what is left of your summer and I will keep watching, Brad.

Nina P. said...

Amazing photo's. Alaska is my dream vacation that I'm hoping to take in a year or two. You capture the essence of and fragility of these majestic animals. you are an amazing photographer. Thank you for sharing your gifts. Love and Light, Nina P.

HBFG said...

Love the happy ending! Nice photos!!!

gidje said...

awe...what a wonderful ending. I can just imaging the feeling of being helpless in that situation. Hard thing to watch wondering if the little guy was gona make it or not. Great series of shots to accompany the story.

The Birdlady said...

Yes! Good story, happy ending! Thanks.