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Early Morning Moose Hunt at Prong Pond

Wednesday September 4, 2013
Moosehead Lake
Greenville, Maine



This is early morning Moose Hunting.


We are up at 5AM and at the pond at 6AM.   I guess this is called a pond because of the size of Moosehead Lake.  But anywhere else in the world Prong Pond would be a lake.   It has multiple islands.  Big islands.


When we pull in, we are the only ones there.  We back the car down to to the ramp to take off the kayaks.  I get out of the car and look at the lake.   This is what I see just off the boat ramp.  It’s going to be a very good morning.

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We both take pictures as the loons pay us no mind at all.  The leisurely float past and beyond the ramp before we get the boats off and into the water. 


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It’s still very early morning and although the sun has risen, it is no where to be seen behind all the clouds.  Our pictures are very dark.  We head out into the pond.  We’re looking for moose.   I’m trusting the 0% chance of rain forecast for today.  But look at those ominous clouds.


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Out on the pond, instead of looking for moose, I hang around the loons.


I don’t paddle.  I just float and they swim and dive and preen.  At one point, two more fly in.  And now there are 4.   They pay me no attention.  I pay them a lot of attention.


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But I can’t spend the entire morning with the loons or I won’t see any moose along the shore so I paddle off to greet the day.  The sun has risen although you’d never know if from the cloud cover.


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I am back to the binocular hunt for moose.  David has been on the hunt for a while now. 




Moose hunting is a bit of an art.  I’m trying to be an artist.


I paddle not too close to the shore in case they are there but close enough that I can see.  I look for areas that seem moose likely.  They have shallow shorelines with places for moose to stand and walk into the water with aquatic vegetation for them to eat.


Probably not here

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This is such a spot.  But no moose.

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The cloud cover begins to lift.  I wonder if this is good or bad for seeing Moose.  Do they prefer a cloudy day or a sunny one?


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This is a large “pond” so its shoreline is pretty vast.


It includes a lot of areas where moose clearly would not be.  But they are beautiful and interesting too so I take time off from the moose hunt to enjoy them. 


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How does a tree grow right out of a rock?



Much of the shoreline looks like this which is why we thought it would be a good place to paddle.






What is David doing while I’m practicing the art of moose hunting?? 


He’s seeing the  first moose through his binoculars.  He paddles stealthily closer to get a better look.   Hmmmmm, looks like someone has a sense of humor.




I do not see this fake moose.  David and I have split up in order to cover more of this large pond in the time before about 10am when seeing moose decreases substantially.  


In between practicing, I’m out finding today’s rock sculptures.  I just love these giant rocks.   Native American’s always named their places after things that happened there or things they saw in the landscape.  Wonder what they’d say about this.  What do you see?


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And while I’m doing all this, don’t you know, David sees the real moose.


She’s just standing in the water munching.  And as he watches, she wades onto the shore and walks into the woods.  He was far enough away that he doesn’t think she ever saw him.  But he saw her.  The first moose sighting here at Prong Pond near Moosehead Lake.











The day has turned gorgeous but it’s getting pretty late for another moose sighting.  I think we’ve been skunked until I meet up with David and he tells me what I’ve missed.   Well drat!!


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Well I don’t see any moose but what do I see? 

Just before I meet back up with David to hear his moose story and groan about missing it, I see more loons.  I just love to float and watch them preen and feed and flap and everything they do.  They are exquisitely beautiful birds.  Their patterns, their coloring, how amazing.



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We’ve been out for over 4 hours and it’s time to go back.  Others are starting to arrive now.  A canoe, three or four kayaks.  We’ve had the pond all to ourselves for the morning and these folks have a beautiful day for their time on the water.





I take one parting picture.  I wish we were staying here long enough to return for many more mornings.  Prong Pond is a wonderful spot with or without moose.  But we will not be here long enough to do it again.  NEXT time I think I want to paddle every single morning.  It’s just a splendid time of day to be in such glorious places as this.


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But we aren’t finished for the day. 

I haven’t seen a real live moose in the wild and I’m determined.  We go back to the coach for lunch and to do some of those ordinary life business things in the afternoon.



Then it’s time for early evening moose hunting at West Shirley Bog.


We asked at the outfitter’s store in Greenville where would be the best two places without driving 20 miles to find moose on an early morning paddle.  Prong Pond was their first suggestion and West Shirley Bog was their second.  


Prong Pond is just off the paved road going toward Rockwood.  But Shirley Bog is about 2 miles down a dirt road and a total of about 12 miles from the campground.   These dirt roads are all marked for ATVs which seem to be a very big thing in this area of Maine.   The road looks pretty good in this picture.  What you can’t see is the wash board, the pot holes and the big rocks.   All of which I guess don’t matter to the logging trucks and are fun for the ATV’s.  Ruby doesn’t agree.



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We come to the wooden bridge over the outflow creek from the bog. 


I am amazed at how narrow it is and how insubstantial with one giant hole.  HUGE flat bed logging trailers come out of these woods stacked with logs as much as 60 feet tall and they cross this bridge.    Seeing these trucks makes me very sad and I want to vow never to use any more kleenex or paper grocery bags or card board or toilet paper since those are the major uses for which these trees are cut.  I am a tree hugger remember. 

I have totally managed the first two. One by using handkerchiefs and washing them.  The other by taking my own bags to any shopping I have to do.  I have cut down the third by a large margin but I can’t figure out how to do without the toilet paper.



Opps, back to the bridge.


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The view from this bridge is just gorgeous in both directions.


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We think this looks like prime moose habitat.  We are here an hour before sunset which should be just the right time.  We don’t see any moose from the bridge but this is the very end of the bog, its outlet.  So we walk down the road looking for other viewing places to see the bog.



The view from here is lovely.   But again, no moose.


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Lovely enough for a panorama.

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We walk further on and come to this little cabin.


It is clear no one is home.  All the windows are shuttered so we walk up for a closer look.

The sign on the padlocked door gives the owner’s name and phone number and asks that there be no fires and that you pack out what you pack in.   I guess he allows people to use the cabin with his permission.  I’m thinking it may be a hunting cabin or a winter snowmobile cabin.   All the dirt roads for miles around are used for ATVs and Snowmobiles.


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We walk down to check Jon’s view and look back at the cabin.


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The view over the bog is just stunning.  


We don’t see any moose here either and have decided that perhaps this area just has too much traffic and noise and that the answer is to come back and paddle it in the early morning.

But we stay here until dark just to watch the clouds and water.  What a view lucky Jon has.  I wonder how often he comes to enjoy it?  Sure wish he had a spot for an RV.   :-)   Although I’m not sure Winnona would like the washboard 2 miles of dirt road.  And I’m not sure I’d like the ATV’s roaring by.



But for tonight it’s a quiet wonderful place to be.


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Looking in all directions

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As the light changes

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It is simply beautiful

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What a fabulous day we have had! 
These moose hang out in some pretty special places.


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  1. Isn't it odd how hard it is to find moose? Makes it special I guess. Hoping I see some in Cape Breton next week! I love the loons as well, I have a thing for clearly delineated coloring. Beautiful.

  2. Moose are such strange creatures. We've seen a few on some of our hikes, but never by a pond.


  3. Beautiful pictures! Looks like a spectacular day even without a moose sighting.

  4. We've spent the past 3 summers up near Caribou, ME, so your photos made me a bit homesick. Those moose and loons.... and black bear.... I really missed them this summer. Hope you see that elusive moose soon!

  5. Loved your Loon pictures, they are a beautiful bird, indeed. You must have been beside yourself with joy looking at them. Sorry you missed the moose, but David's shots were great.

    As to the toilet paper conundrum, I have no advice to offer... ;c)

  6. yes a very special place.. love the loons and moose sighting, way to go David!!

  7. Gosh, your pictures in this post are just spectacular! The early morning pics remind me of the shots during the opening credits of the movie, "The Notebook." So tranquil.

  8. Wow those pictures are postcard worthy! Just lovely and serene.

  9. The loons are beautifully patterned. Have you heard their scream. At least David got to see a moose. Better luck tomorrow. I see 'Man staring at sky' rock. And that sunset with glorious reflections on the bog make me want to move in with Jon.

    You could use the Sears catalog pages, but it's still paper.

  10. Wonderful photos of a special place. Glad you got to see all the loons...really lovely. Nice moose sighting David. What a great place to spend a beautiful morning!!!

  11. Beautiful pictures, being from VT we too have had the pleasure of floating with loons. Seen a lot of moose over the years, favorite story is of the moose running through the neighborhood backyards and then through kids playing football in the back field. Enjoy the rest of your time in the northeast.

  12. Getting out on the water by 6 am would be a challenge but paddling with the loons would be worth it. I love the call of the loons, memorable and haunting.

    A moose sighting and you missed it. At least David had photographic proof. Hope you get lucky next time.

  13. Your pictures are just breathtaking.

  14. The panorama shots and the sunset ones are fabulous! Cool that David saw a moose too! The loon with wings spread were pretty. That looked like fun kayaking-

  15. really beautiful pics. . .and the moose is beautiful too. . .sorry you didn't see it!

  16. Lovely pictures! Reminds me of the last time we camped in Maine 20 years ago trying to see a moose. We didn't see one until we crossed 2 miles over the Canadian border. Go figure! We can't wait to start FTing next year and eventually make it back to Maine again.

  17. Love the loon pictures. They are really lovely. Glad you saw moose.

  18. At least half your team saw a moose!

  19. I don't believe I've ever seen a loon. Are they northern birds? I know I've never seen a moose but I've always wanted to. Lucky that David saw one. I guess you should have stayed with him. Better luck next time.

  20. So many loons! I'm jealous! They are definitely gorgeous birds. That one rock looks like something gritting its teeth - the other one...I'm not quite sure. Glad Dad was able to get a few moose pictures - good find!!!! I guess you don't get lucky every time, but what a beautiful paddle all around and the sunset at Jon's cabin - what a lovely view and the photos are gorgeous - as another commenter said, they would make lovely postcards or win a photo contest (at least in my (not so humble) opinion). :)

  21. Don't know how I missed this post.... ah, yes I do... Charlie was here.

    Again, Sherry... there just aren't words to describe those photographs... you make it seem as thought I'm there... and well, I have been but dang. your a good picture taker.

    the colors ... I can never capture the colors. well, I have an iPhone camera... guess that's one reason why.

    1. though I'm there... maybe I thought I was and you're a good... jumping jeeeez!

  22. Let's not forget the beauty of the loon does not end with their stunning appearance. The loon does not quack, squawk or honk like most other water fowl, but instead has a unique beautiful high pitched quiver of a call that is simply unforgettable.

    And remember, before indoor toilets, there were outhouses and corn cobs. Of course corn cobs would not work so well in these new toilets. Then again, maybe the French were on to something with the bidet.

  23. One of the rocks looks like a stoic Indian head and the other, sad to say, looks like a Mutant Ninja Turtle. I guess I've led a wasted life if that's the best I can think of, Sherrie.

    Your sunset pictures are lovely. Thank you.

  24. Amazing photos -- especially of the loons! Such beautiful birds. No wonder they're my favorite bird.


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