Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mountains and moose

Today, my family went for a picnic near a mountainside lake. On the drive down the canyon, we pulled off of the road several times to read the signs explaining the geology of the area. My older son and I decided to stop at two different rockslides to examine the rocks.

Now, a rockslide may not sound like much fun. But for two amateur geology buffs with over-active imaginations, it was a blast. We took home several finds: a sparkly rock that surely contains gold, a piece of shale with a rust-colored inclusion that just has to be a fossiled tree leaf, and a striated rock that might become a jewel someday.

But my favorite part of the day came as I was driving along the canyon road and saw something out of the corner of my eye. Two moose were frolicking in the grassy wetland area flanking a nearby stream. They almost looked like horses, except that their muzzles were far too large. Unlike most moose I've seen in my life -- slow and lumbering -- these two were clearly rough-housing and playing in the water.

It was an awesome sight. I wish I could have taken a picture, but in a way, I'm glad that I couldn't. The road was winding and narrow at that point, with no place to stop for a photo. And that's probably why the moose were there.

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