I’ve been trying to spot a moose in the wild for three decades. Have you ever noticed that all the moose photos show them standing in a pond near the edge of a woods? That’s where I was always looking for them. But that’s not the only place they hang out.
Last month my husband and I visited Rocky Mountain National Park. On our second day exploring the park my lifetime moose tally jumped from zero to five in less than 6 hours. In the morning we were blessed to come upon a whole family of moose grazing together. A park ranger told us it was rare to see that many moose together that time of year and in that location. It was so exciting!
To see the afternoon moose we got an assist. We were traveling up Old Fall River Road which is a gravel, one-way road up a mountain with switchbacks and not a lot of places to pull over. We came to a clearing and noticed a small group of people standing at the edge of the road pointing and taking photos.
This is what we saw. Someone who has spotted moose before must’ve noticed this one because I would have never thought to look in the brush on the side of a mountain:
Thanks to the wonder of binoculars and zoom lenses , we get a close-up of what all the fuss was about. That little brown blob was actually a giant bull moose:
We watched him mow down the shrubbery for awhile, and then he disappeared into the taller brush until all we could see was his antlers bouncing back and forth.
Now that I have a better idea of where to look for moose in the wild, I’m hoping five is only the beginning of my lifetime tally!
‘Zahara Raspberry’ zinnias are quickly becoming my favorites in this zinnia series I love so much.
The flowers are a very dark, rich red when they first open:
But as the flowers age they change into their namesake raspberry-pink:
These easy-care flowers grow 12 to 18 inches tall in sun or partial-shade. This year I didn’t even have time to deadhead my plants, but it didn’t matter. They kept blooming anyway.
Zahara zinnias will give you your money’s worth. They’ll bloom for almost 6 months or until a killing frost finally closes the curtain on their season.
I like to plant this cultivar with lavenders and purples like ageratums or salvias.
I grow a handful of white daylilies and most of them are small cultivars, but there is one that towers above the rest.
‘White Perfection’ grows 30 inches tall with 5.5-inch diamond-dusted white flowers that have a yellow-green throat.
This daylily blooms in the middle of the daylily season, and those white flowers really stand out—you will notice them from across the yard.
‘White Perfection’ is pleasantly fragrant. The plants are hardy in Zones 4-9.
I’m having a hard time believing it’s October already.
But then I hear the White-throated Sparrows whistling as they hop through the grass and leaves looking for seeds. These adorable sparrows stop in for a few weeks every fall before departing south for the winter.
And American Robins don’t hang around my neighborhood much, but they do arrive in small flocks in October to hop around the yard while they wait for their turn at the birdbaths.
And in the mornings there are Sandhill Cranes trumpeting from high in the sky. They migrate to the warmth of Texas, Mexico and Florida for the winter.
My Queen of the Prairie (Vilenpendula rubra) plants loved our wet spring and summer.
Fifteen years ago I planted several of these tall, moisture-loving native plants in the corner of my yard to help block the view of a utility pole (which is now two utility poles), and then I promptly ignored them. Yet every year they reappear.
Because these plants like consistent moisture and do not tolerate droughts, and because I don’t usually water that particular flowerbed, I’m guessing that some of my plants are probably seedlings from the original plants.
The fluffy light-pink flowers appear atop 4 to 6-foot-tall stems beginning in early July and are very attractive to pollinators.
I’ve never deadheaded, pruned, fertilized or divided my Queen of the Prairie plants, nor have they ever been bothered by pests or diseases.
Queen of the Prairie is hardy in Zones 3-9.