Robin’s Journal – From the Observation Stand

Finally, time to sit quietly and go through my notes of the third day at Molunkus Stream Camps.

Monday, August 16, 2011
Molunkus (Map 44)

We didn’t want to leave camp and avoided talking about it. After another leisurely morning sipping coffee on the porch steps, watching ducks in the stream, we headed out to explore again. More mushrooms, flowers, caterpillars and oops, poison ivy. “What’s that saying about poison ivy,” I asked.

“Leaves of three, stay away from me,” she replied.

“Crap.” I was up to my knees in it. I backed out. Back at camp later, I peeled them off, inside out and put them into a plastic bag. One poison ivy rash in my life was enough.

Do you know the name of this flower?

“Let’s have your big lunch later, pack up and go to the stand. We can leave to go home from there.” Tammy made fried chicken, new potatoes and fried okra for lunch. Delicious! It didn’t take long to pack the Jeep, clean camp and leave.

The first hour in the observation stand was quiet, then Tammy spotted a large, dark-colored doe walking into the left side of the field. She grazed way to the apple tree. I couldn’t tell if she was eating apples or leaves. Healthy, large, beautifully colored and moving with grace and ease through tall grasses to get get to a patch of clover; she was perfect. She must have heard one of us move. Her head snapped up and she started into the eight foot long window of the observation deck. We froze. She knew we were there.

We waited, not moving. She watched. We waited. She watched. She wasn’t relaxing and we didn’t want to scare her away. And then the excitement began. A noise drew her attention from us to something we couldn’t see. There was something past the doe, at the edge of the field or maybe still in the trees. We were able to step closer to the window to watch. To our right, a moose grunted. “Did you hear that noise,” I asked Tammy. She did. “That’s a moose.”

Where to watch? The doe, still frozen and staring at something, or to the right where I moose might step into the clearing. A branched cracked under the moose’s feet. It was walking parallel to the clearing, still far enough into the trees that we couldn’t see it. Our attention went back to the doe. The doe was too far away for our cameras; we hoped the moose would step out long enough for photos.

When deer are angry they “blow.” The doe blew once, stomping a front foot at the same time. A light-colored, large doe stepped into sight. Ahhhh. She’s the problem. The first doe blew again. A stare-off lasted a few minutes. Did one or the other blink? Something happened. They charged each other, rearing up on hind legs, still running. I thought they were going to bang heads. As I flinched at We the thought of banging heads, both turned slightly and hooves started flying. We could hear hooves clashing together. Clash clash clash clash clash. It ended quickly and both does were on four feet again. A great horned owl called from our right, followed by the whoosh whoosh whoosh of its wings as it took flight. It was very close but the observation blind blocked the view above our heads.

The lighter doe disappeared from sight, followed by the darker doe. Directly to our left, something large, probably the moose, stepped on another branch. A sharp crashing sound made the doe blow again. Before the excitement was over, she blew a total of nine times. We didn’t see them again but followed them by sound up the slope and into the woods. It was getting dark. Time to go home and wait impatiently for our next adventure in the Maine woods.