Nature provides moments of unexpected thrill and pleasure in so many wonderful ways. One came to me as a giant moose - a bull with antlers fully formed - who parted the speckled-alder curtain of the pond where I sat drifting in my canoe.
He slowly waded out into the pond, until the deepening water covered his body. Then his head bent to graze the plants on the bottom. Only swirls of water and the tips of his antlers gave evidence of his presence.
Needing air, he again and again would show his plant-draped, dripping antlers and head, jaws munching the garnered greens. His nearsighted gaze slowly scanned his world, but he was oblivious to my presence.
As I drifted so close - a canoe length more and I would have touched him - his eyes finally fixed upon me. His ears rose and swiveled to catch some warning sound of danger. He lifted his muzzle, and nostrils flared as he sniffed the vagrant breeze, which carried my scent away.
Then, as I began to talk to him in gentle tones, the hackles of his nape rose slowly. Turning, he plunged toward shore, water surging and pouring from his shoulders.
There he paused, looking at me as if disdainful of my smallness. Tossing his head, he pushed his massive form through the bordering alders and was gone. I, in my canoe, kept drifting silently before the wind.