Old Moose Yard (watercolour 5 x 7 in.) Sold
One strange feature of the place appears to be an old dying ground for Moose, perhaps in years when it was used as a winter yarding area. In a 20 metre radius on the gentle slope above the pond among Fir, Spruce, and Maple trees, we found several deposits of Moose bones - single ribs, groups of vertebrae, jaw bones, and here, a skull with vertebrae.
As I sit on the fir needled ground to draw the skull, which lies between the curved trunk of a young Yellow Birch and the base of a Balsam Fir, Green Frogs call intermittently from the pond sixty metres away, their banjo-string comments escalating to vigorous discussion. Don McAlpine found a pair in amplexus and collected freshly laid eggs. Fred discovered a Yellow Spotted Salamander on the other side of the pond, while Don found hatched-out egg masses of that species in the water.
There is less algae and moss on the Moose skull than would be expected of bones of this age, and as I start the painting, Fred keeps coming by with slugs that he's taken off of various Moose bones, from which they probably have been scraping algae and getting calcium. He is all excited about inventing a new way of monitoring slugs by collecting them from piles of damp moose droppings which provide them with food, moisture, and cover.