We’ve had quite a few moose encounters over the last few days. This morning I felt what I thought was an earthquake, but when I looked out the window to see what was happening, there was a bull moose next to the deck trying to work the velvet off his antlers by rubbing them on the deck stair railing. He didn’t completely tear off the railing, but he came close. Along the way he stabbed our water tank several times (you can see the damage to the foam insulation in the photo on the right), knocked over a wheelbarrow, and ripped my National Weather Service rain gage off the dog yard fence. We’d seen the same moose yesterday afternoon along the power line using a power pole support wire on his antlers.
I shot a couple videos of this morning’s action. The first one is after he started ramming the water tank. I decided I needed to go outside and scare him away before he did any more damage to the house. You can see that he thinks twice about charging me before he runs off. I thought for sure he was going to barrel right into the Jeep. Here’s the video:
The second video shows him going to town on the stair railing. This was was shot through a window, so it’s not quite as sharp:
It’s only a couple days from moose season. We live in a bow-only hunting area, but the regulations here allow bow hunters to take any male with more than a “spike/fork” set of antlers (meaning a little antler spike on one side of his head and a forked antler on the other side). This moose is much larger than that. I’m not sure if he’d be legal in a typical hunting area where hunters can shoot any moose with more than a 50” antler spread, but he’s close.
Hunting season means cool temperatures, lots of sun, and gorgeous colors. Here’s an iPhone panorama shot of our back yard:
Last night a pair of young moose showed up in our driveway. Andrea and I went out on the deck and shot some iPhone video of their antics. At one point (see the video below) Deuce went over to the fence and the moose ran over to check him out. It was clear that Deuce was trying to play, but I’m not sure what the moose were thinking.
The iPhone shoots QuickTime movies; the new HTML5 web standard will include a
video tag that indicates to a browser that the file is a video. Firefox 3.5 is the first browser to implement this tag, playing Ogg Theora videos without needing an external video plug-in like Flash or Silverlight or whatever. This is a good thing because it means web developers can stop developing their sites with a bunch of proprietary languages and formats just to show a video.
Unfortunately, getting a QuickTime video from the iPhone into the right format is a bit of a pain, and even after I got it all figured out, the video wouldn’t play once I uploaded it to my hosting provider. But in case it’s useful, here’s the procedure I used. I suspect the
ffmpeg2theora step could probably have been done on my Mac, but it doesn’t appear to be part of
fink so I just installed it on my Linux box and ran it there.
- Drag MOV file onto the New Event icon in the upper left pane of iMovie
- Crop and select time period in the movie in the middle frame
- Create a new project (which appears in the lower left pane)
- Drag the selection from the upper middle frame to the lower middle frame
- Export the movie at Medium quality
- Transfer to Linux
- Run ffmpeg2theora -v 5 -x 350 --aspect 16:9 moose_test.m4v (choosing the proper aspect ratio and size)
With hunting season about to start in the Interior, we got a great view of a cow, calf and bull moose from the comfort of our large windows. Last night I chased a solitary cow away from the dog yard, and this morning a different pair showed up. The cow and calf grazed on birch leaves and fireweed next to our west window, then wandered down the dog yard fence toward the road. When they got to the trees near the far side of the dog yard, a small bull showed up and briefly chased the calf. The bull wasn't legal (and it wouldn't be legal in our yard anyway), but it's the first male moose we've seen at the house.