The Elusive Moose of Idaho’s South Hills
There are an estimated 500 moose in the South Hills and I haven’t seen even one. A few days ago, I was up early. I’ve been told if you want to observe moose, sunrise is a good time. Driving the high country in the dark is an experience but I can’t say I was worried about hitting something at 35 miles per hour. Interstate at 80 MPH is another matter!
Then a pickup truck passed, and in the distance, I could hear all-terrain vehicles. At that point, I decided to go home.
I found a ridgeline and parked just as the sun began to emerge. Below there was a series of ponds and swamps. And I waited. For well over an hour. Three deer dipped their mouths in the water and then they walked back into the wood line.
It was cold. When I left Twin Falls, the temperature gauge on my dashboard registered 47 degrees. Near Rock Creek, it shot up to 60 degrees but as soon as I started getting some elevation it dropped by 22 degrees.
Standing in the cold, camera in hand, I was suddenly startled by some noise from behind. I wheeled around and saw a rustic-looking man. He was walking a poodle! “Good morning,” he cheerily offered in greeting. I said hello. Then a pickup truck passed, and in the distance, I could hear all-terrain vehicles. At that point, I decided to go home.
I won’t call it a complete waste of time.
There was still a lot of color on the trees and the rising sun illuminated the rock formations. I came home with nearly 100 fresh pictures.
At the Rock Creek store, a clerk told me I looked familiar. I get that from time to time despite working in a medium where I’m rarely seen. Then she asked me if I was a state auditor! No, on that day simply an auditor of nature and not very successful.