December 27 – Hairy Critters

I’ll get to the hairy critters, but first, there are the usual feathered critters of winter around the yard too, including Pine Grosbeaks.

A single Common Redpoll has been coming to our feeders. I’m hoping it is the advance scout of a whole flock of them as we had last winter.

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But now, let me tell you about the hairy critters. The first, of course, is our newly adopted part husky, Caster, who is definitely hairy, leaving hair everywhere he goes. He is very loving and although he pays attention to everything we do, he is mostly not demanding, and is a good companion. When not cuddling up to us, he spends time playing with his numerous toys, lying quietly on the rug, or checking to see if there is anything interesting out the front window.

The other hairy critters have been moose, at first two of them. Last night Dave went to take Caster out to the back yard before going to work on his midnight shift (I might normally have taken Caster out, but I have a bad cold and didn’t feel up to it). As Dave was walking across the back yard with Caster pulling ahead on his leash, Dave suddenly noticed in the darkness a large darker blob on the ground toward the back of the yard, a resting moose, and then he noticed another moose lying down just outside the side gate, even closer to him and Caster! They appeared to be the mother and yearling moose that have periodically been around the neighborhood. Caster was not given any more time to do his business, or to investigate the two exciting mammals, but was hustled back into the house. The two moose stayed until some time after I went to bed. I finally got to sleep in spite of Caster’s continuous whines and eagerness to go back outside.

Then this morning, just a little while ago, I looked out the front window and there was an adult bull moose, the first we have seen in our neighborhood. He was munching on our neighbors’ bushes. Caster could see him too (both the back of the moose, visible over our neighbor’s ladders, and Caster’s ears are in the first photo below). I went outside and got a few more photos before the moose went out in the road and trotted off. Not quite a typical Alaska day, but not unusual either.

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