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A Moose Garden Story

  • Subject: A Moose Garden Story
  • From: gw1944@vermontel.net (Glen Williams)
  • Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 10:28:33 -0400

Hi Guys:
  I will intrude on the morning with part of a column I write for a local
paper. It is fresh in my mind, pertains to gardens, visitors, and I mention
hostas too. What more can you ask for? AND IT IS A TRUE STORY. My neighbors
would tell you that.  Glen

 It was a lazy Sunday afternoon  and I was working  in the garden when I
was levitated by a moose.  I was stretched out on my cushion  savoring the
silence and feeling a bit guilty at having  skipped church to plant  30
some perennials that had come the previous Friday. Friday had been the day
the catbird struck fear in my heart and then on Saturday my three cubic
yards of goat manure were nearly dumped in my neighbor's driveway by
mistake. But that will have to wait. Nature was obviously conspiring and
leading up to Sunday afternoon , 4:48 PM.

At 4:45 PM I had been blissfully searching the soil for the pips of an
expensive hosta which appeared to have turned to mush during our wretched
winter. Inexpensive hostas never die.

My garden is structured like a  maze. The meandering paths are of washed
stone ; there are raised beds between them. There are any number of dead
ends which result in most garden visitors having to retrace their steps and
return to GO....and start again. The maze lacks a Minotaur, but I am
negotiating with my Sheltie. The raised flower beds were purposefully made
too wide to negotiate without a running start. Any  visitor intent on a
quick tour is going to be thwarted.

At 4:47 PM I heard a sound  over my right shoulder and thought that Zoey, a
friendly black Lab , had gotten loose and was paying a surprise visit: a
rambunctious visit. Zoey loves to play and likes tricks . I heard Zoey
snort. This was confirmed when my Sheltie began to bark furiously. Shelly
does not like it when I consort with other dogs. Or cats. Or apparently,
with a MOOSE.

 As I turned around with my hand outstretched  for a friendly greeting (and
to protect myself from an all-out Black Lab mugging), I saw four  solid
looking legs. Large legs. They  were stationary. They were a very dark
brown, almost black. They also appeared to be very long legs. Like a
cartoon character, my eyes slowly went upward looking for the rest of
Zoey's body. At about 4 1/2 feet , the legs met a VERY LARGE BODY.  It
didn't bark, but it  snorted again. Zoey had grown.  Zoey was about 4 feet
from me and I finally noticed the head. The head was that of a moose.
Zoey, in her consummate trickery , had learned to disguise herself as a
moose.  My synapses fired and I realized that there was an ACTUAL MOOSE  in
my garden : only 4 feet away.  I levitated. The secret to levitation is
evidently adrenaline. In a move worthy of a Russian gymnast I was on my
feet and TERRIFIED in a nanosecond. There was another factor that came into
my chaotic consciousness. I know that moose are herbivores. BUT, I recently
heard on NPR that humans share roughly 50% of the same genetic make-up as a
leaf of lettuce. When I first heard this fact , I immediately saw the
connection between vegetable life and human life. It was a revelation about
human thought and human behavior. I could  for the first time, understand
much that had puzzled me about my friends and family. However,  I now
realized that the shared ancestry of  my genetic cousin , the mighty head
of lettuce, could provide a tempting treat for an astute moose. And I am
sure that we must have astute moose in Vermont.

 The moose took one look at the  quivering rotund balding-bearded head of
lettuce, snorted again, and  rudely  walked  through the beds of freshly
planted flowers, all the while ignoring the maze of stone paths which I had
so lovingly created. APPARENTLY MOOSE TAKE DOMINION.  They feel no
constraints when they make garden visits; cleverly constructed garden mazes
mean little to them. The moose had seen the possibility of brunch, and
magisterially , moved on to greener pastures. It headed for the road. For a
split second I was upset at the rejection.

I  heard the squeal of brakes in the street. There was no thump or sound of
damaged moose or car : I smiled.  I figured that there was going to be a
story around the dinner table for somebody that night.  I walked out to the
street and  saw neighbors, as well as some people from South Street who had
seen it cross there, and had quickly come over to Dewey hoping to see it
again. For a big animal it disappeared very quickly. ** I  know that when I
tell this story next year that the moose  will have a giant rack on
antlers, be 8 feet tall, weight at least 1400 pounds,  and be eating M &Ms
from my hand while I tickle its ears (by standing on a stool). In fact, the
terror of my levitation will have been forgotten and I will be a veritable
St Francis of Assisi. I am looking forward to it. In the meantime my fear
has subsided and the dog and I are staying on the front porch , just in
case Bullwinkle returns.

eppur si muove.....Galileo.
Glen Williams
20 Dewey St.
Springfield , Vermont
Tel: 802-885-2839 

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