06.07.2021 An eventful Sunday morning at Moosehorn Pond

I went on another bullfrog safari yesterday.  It was a little successful but they are still a bit behind schedule due to the cool mornings we’ve been having.  I’ll share one or two on FF.

Once I accepted the dearth of Lithobates, I walked the road looking for dragonflies and damselflies. That was a little more successful and I saw two new species I had not before. Today’s post is a Frosted Whiteface female on a stalk of cinnamon fern fertile frond. The perch was on water’s edge and I could not get a ventral view to show the white of its face so just the dorsal view.

I had been shooting the frogs that I was able to find with my 100-400 and the doubler for 800mm. I felt the 180 with its doubler would capture better detail so switched to that for this and a few other images. It did do a better job.  But…a few minutes later the “eventful” part of the title made me wish I had not changed.

I was, after all, at Moosehorn Pond and for the first time in the 10 or so years I have been visiting there it finally lived up to its name.

These are not very good shots.  There were two males, this one with some cute little horn nubbins, A macro lens, even with its doubler, doesn’t cut the mustard with wildlife at a distance. At least my ISO was high enough to get a good sharpish exposure time but the crop I needed really didn’t allow for sharp details. Lots of Photoshop work to make these worth viewing.  But…it is evidence of a sighting and better shots than the other day’s bear encounter. After these two shots I decided to carefully and slowly get off my knees (the position for photographing the dragonfly) and walk back to the car for some longer glass. Maybe I should have crawled.  Once I stood up Mama came out of the trees, gave me a quick stare with her ears straight up (a pose of alarm), and then ushered the young ones into cover.

All in all, a good Sunday with some frog, moose, and ode sightings.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Animal Behavior, Closeup Photography, Insects, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to 06.07.2021 An eventful Sunday morning at Moosehorn Pond

  1. I’m a little surprised you didn’t save the last two pictures for Moose Monday. Of those two, the second seems to have come out better because the moose was standing approximately parallel to the camera’s focal plane.

    What do you mean by the “ode” that’s your next-to-the-last word?

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  2. Ann Mackay says:

    You had a very good day! I love the dragonfly – hope to start seeing them round here soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike Powell says:

    Although I love the wonderful shot of a dragonfly species that I have never seen before, Steve, I am truly impressed by the moose shots. When I used to visit my parents who retired in Maine, I remember seeing signs warning of moose, but never saw one.

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    • Thanks, Mike. I was glad to see the moose and capture a few pictures but they are not anything that I would print but fun to share. I have a friend who used to live locally but moved to Northern Maine because he loves moose and specializes in photographing them.When I visit I get to see and photograph them too. Seeing them here is a big treat as they have only spread in this direction in recent decades. The population in the Quabbin watershed is around 100 for the entire 120,000 acres. So while there are many I don’t see them often.

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      • Mike Powell says:

        I’m reluctant to go to far off locations to photograph exotic species, because I know that my shots during a very limited period of time can’t compete with those of photographers who live there all of the time. They can go out in all kinds of weather and at different times of the day and know all of the best spots. People tell me I should go to Alaska if I want to shoot better bald eagle shots, for example. That is undoubtedly true, but I am mostly content to do the best I can with my local species.

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      • It is the same for me for the most part, Mike. I really enjoy concentrating on my local spots. Partly because I know them well but also because I want to know then even better. I am not so much worried about competing as being able to capture something that isn’t the same as what everyone else is doing. That’s not to say that I am not happy getting shot like the dragonfly which is like most others but it is a little more rewarding to make an image that is different. I am not the most creative photographer but do like to capture uniqueness when possible.

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  4. After many years of becoming upset whenever I had a wildlife encounter with the wrong lens, I’ve finally come to the point where I can lower the camera and simply enjoy the moment through the lens of my eye and create a memory instead of a photograph. I would call your morning a total success.

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    • In some cases I do the same, Bob. But these instances, the bear and moose, are rare enough that I do try to make an image to share. But although the pictures are not of exhibition quality, I am still happy to have and be able to share the experience. That said, it is still a missed opportunity that doesn’t happen very often.

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  5. Littlesundog says:

    The moose is marvelous!!! And we all know never to mess with mama! I’ve seen one moose in my life and it was while driving through a pass in Montana somewhere. Back then, I did not have a good camera and zoom lens, and of course cell phones did not exist yet at that time. I simply have the memory, which is still lovely and amazing.

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    • There are two situations to fear moose which are otherwise benign creatures. In the spring don’t get between Mama and her calves, similar to a bear and her cubs. In the autumn don’t get between a bullmoose and his intended. Otherwise they are fun to be around.Memories are precious. Thanks, Lori!

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  6. Very exciting, I’ve only seen moose a couple of times in my life. Glad the pond was between you and the mama.

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  7. Any Moose images and great images 👏👏👏.

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  8. Peter Klopp says:

    You went out to see and capture a bullfrog and found a moose instead. That is a so typical event in a photographer’s life. It happens to me very often. Best wishes! Peter

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    • I did get one frog also but the moose certainly was the bigger deal. I do go out most often with a destination and goal in mind but, as you mention, there is often something else of note and an open mind is essential. Thanks, Peter.

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  9. Great job capturing the moose with what you had in your hand! And what fun to see the pond’s namesakes—you’ll be looking for them to always be there now.

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  10. Eliza Waters says:

    Moose sightings are still rare here and always exciting. I’m surprised that Mama is still on duty… unless she isn’t pregnant. Cows usually send their yearlings packing as delivery time nears.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She probably is not with calf. These two youngsters did look like they could fend for themselves. Of course, she might send them packing in a little while should she be pregnant. There is a larger “herd” in Quabbin so seeing one is a little less unusual than in the hilltowns.

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  11. Very Nice Series Steve! Enjoyed seeing them! Love the Dragonfly!

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  12. picpholio says:

    The dragonfly is realy a top shot.

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  13. I’d say you had an excellent day.

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  14. How exciting, Steve. Moose encounters (preferably from a safe distance) are always a treat, even if your camera lens was not the one you wanted. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve seen many in Maine but that was expected. Seeing them here in Southern New England is a treat. About distance. For the most part they are not aggressive unless a cow is protecting her calves, which could have been the case here, or if a bull moose thinks you are trying to compete for his lady. My close encounter experience happened back in 1982 the first time I saw moose. I was photographing three bulls at the other end of the pond when I saw my friends pointing at me and laughing. Why? They saw a bull coming up behind me and knew he wouldn’t care that I was there. And he didn’t. I heard saplings snapping as he just walked over them and would have trampled me had i not moved. This was just before Maine reestablished a moose hunt so they had not developed a fear of humans.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you were safe, Steve. When we lived in Alaska, we had moose come to our yard regularly and there were a few dicey situations in other locations with cows and calves, but luckily we were never injured (though we were charged once, after having unknowingly skied between a mother and her calf).

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      • I am glad that your experiences did not end badly, Tanja. I’ve been lucky to never be in a bad situation but it easily done unknowingly when in the woods. I’ve heard stories of bear cubs being curious and the object of that curiosity being charged or attacked by the protective mom. I don’t ski so I’ll have to find another way to cause trouble. 🙂

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      • Let’s all try to stay out of trouble as much as possible! 🙂

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  15. shoreacres says:

    Moose always seem so comical to me: as though they’ve not quite finished putting themselves together. It’s great that you were able to finally see one in your own backyard, so to speak. Do they shed? The one in the second photo looks as though it’s lost some hair — or perhaps that happened in a tussle with another moose. I’d love to see one someday, but that’s one creature I would have to travel to meet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they are quite ungainly looking with those long legs and barrel-like torso.But much of their feeding is done while in a pond as these calves were so those long legs come in handy. They are good swimmers too and can run faster than you might expect. Beside nibbling twigs they love pond lilies which of course are found in Moosehorn Pond, often with a frog on top.
      Yes, they do shed which happens around now. Although these are young ones, the grown bulls shed their antlers also and grow new ones in the spring but these are yearlings so those nubs are their first.
      I have seen moose locally before in the Quabbin proper but this was the first time at the pond. The population is about 100 in the watershed but they wander as the number increases. I’ve not heard of any being seen here in Amherst but the neighboring town of Pelham has had some and then farther west in the hilltowns where Eliza lives have some also.
      Yes, with the climate warming they are less likely to wander down to Texas.

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  16. Todd Henson says:

    First a bear and then moose. Wow, what a year this is turning out to be. I know the feeling of not having the right lens on at the right time to capture something, or of having settings for something static, say flowers, when suddenly something moving appears. But just the thrill of seeing the wildlife is so worth it. I hope you get to see more!

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    • Yeah, it’s funny because I hardly ever see wildlife larger than a frog. 🙂 As with all nature photography, the picture is a bonus of the act of being outdoors enjoying nature. It was a thrill for sure. Thanks!

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  17. What luck! I saw two in Newfoundland alongside the highway. I have not seen one in the states yet. Definitely do not want to get too close though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve seen a couple locally but always a bull by himself. This was the first family unit here. When I visit friends in Northern Maine I have seen quite a few although their numbers have dwindled in recent years due to winter tick. Hopefully the numbers will rebound. For the most part they are relatively benign and not aggressive. The rut, or mating, season and then while Momma is escorting her calves are the times when one might have a problem. Still they are wild animals and unpredictable so caution is a good practice.

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      • We keep hearing of a lone one making its way into the Catskills. There has been one sighted this year. In a previous year one was sighted in counties north of NYC. It died of that brain issue. One man even too k a selfie with it in his backyard. I guess that should have been a sign the moose had a problem.

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      • It may have been a sign but not necessarily. When I first visited Northern Maine to photograph moose they were not yet hunted (they had been but it was decades of no hunting at that point). As a result there was no fear of humans at that time. We had several close encounters including one in the woods where a bunch of noisy teens were taking pictures from just a few feet away. I was at one end of a pond when a large bull came out of the woods, cracking saplings and completely unconcerned with my presence on his way to the pond. He literally walked right by me within just a few feet. No cell phones back then (1982) for a selfie. Shortly after that hunting was reinstated with permits. A hunter had his wife enter the drawing, she won a permit, and he brought her, literally, to a front lawn of a bank where he helped her hold her rifle and from almost point blank distance got their moose. Fortunately for moose that is no longer the case and they have grown quite wary of humans as my local experience demonstrated.

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      • I doubt there is enough of them around NY for anyone to successfully hunt them. There have been sightings around Paul Smith’s in the Adirondacks. I know they can be aggressive certain times of the year. I thought it funny that during my summer research trips to Newfoundland a few years ago the St. John’s traffic report included moose sightings and updates on where they moose was last spotted. They have a huge sign near the ferry saying how many cars got in moose accidents and how many have died in the past year. A little sobering.

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      • Of course that is the fault of humans driving too fast and not paying attention to the warnings. We have signs here along certain stretches of road where moose are “common”. I’ve seen a few moose along our Route 202 browsing by the side of the road and twice had one run across the road in front of me. There have been a few moose involved accidents with fatalities here also but again, human lack of attention.
        I would guess that ,just as with Northern Maine, a big tourist draw is the opportunity to see moose. My buddy in Maine leads workshops for both moose photography and just plain moose sightings. People travel for miles to see them. Generally they are most aggressive during mating season, the bulls are jealous of anyone getting between them and their desired cow and in the spring when the cows escort their calves and are quite protective.

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