Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day #25: Birch and Moose.................

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 04-14-2010 04:37 PM 2465 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 24: Two New Totes........Experimenting with MDF Part 25 of Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day series Part 26: One Year LJ Anniversary, Reflections from Paradise............... »

I posted this same item in an old post about birches by Don Butler, and thought it was worth reproducing as a blog item. The picture has been used in a very old blog item here before…..............

Moose like birch too….........a picture from my front porch…...

....if you look closely, you will see the peeling bark on this birch, which is pretty typical. Don Butler had posted a picture of a birch that was really exfoliating its bark and wondered what was going on. But if you live among birches, you find it is fairly common.

I burned almost exclusively dead birch trees in my cabin stove near Central (essentially at the arctic circle). Mostly birches, spruce, and alder up there. Moose love the alder and birch for food.

But what brought all this to mind was another moose story…........from yesterday….......

Yesterday I was going around the back of the largest hospital in Alaska, to park where I always do near the obstetrical wards. They have special parking for the docs near labor and delivery. In front of me were three cars and a truck in the lead, who was delivering something, obviously, and hadn’t been to the freight dock before and was going slow.

I started mumbling to myself about a traffic jam on the back road. The truck finally turns off, and then the next three yokels do the mistake most people seem to make, braking just as they come to and go over a speed bump, guaranteeing they will get jolted, and making their progress insanely slow. (roll over the speed bumps, no brakes… peeve of mine). So finally the last of the cars gets over the speed bump and move on, so I get to go over the speed bump, and I have only 25 more yards to go, at this time I am getting irritated…......when out from the driveway to my right from behind a maintenance shop marches a moose, and starts ambling down the road at a snail’s pace. So I decide I will just have to wait for her to clear the area, now really getting irritated…......when suddenly another moose walks out and gets in line….........and then another moose. So I have three moose ambling down this narrow road in front of me. I mean out for a lazy morning stroll, heading probably for the nearest birch tree to nibble on.

OK, at this point in time, irritated or not, I had to laugh. First it was a traffic jam of cars, now I got a moose jam. You don’t try to hurry the moose, because if they get pissed will charge your vehicle kick it and dent it. (if you hit a moose at highway speeds, both you and the moose are likely to die).

So finally after a few more minutes…....I got to my parking lot, and by that time there were about 6 cars behind me…................birches and moose… in the scenery up here…..........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

10 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3143 days

#1 posted 04-14-2010 04:44 PM

May I call you Dr. Joel Fleischman ??

“Northern Exposure” WAS a bit of a guilty pleasure, for me ;-)

By the by … I, too, have been backed up because of mousse, before:

But … I’m not complaining :-)

-- -- Neil

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3134 days

#2 posted 04-14-2010 05:02 PM

Neil moose were brown, but no strawberries…........ah…, not going there….........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3303 days

#3 posted 04-14-2010 05:05 PM

Sounds like pretty unique traffic problems there Jim!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Troy's profile


186 posts in 3033 days

#4 posted 04-14-2010 05:14 PM

I have no idea what you’re talking about…..wait…I mean, I know exactly what you’re talking about!

-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) ||

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3078 days

#5 posted 04-14-2010 05:15 PM

Doesn’t sound like a jam at all, more like a parade. Or maybe the moose sensed your irritation and offered escort?


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3084 days

#6 posted 04-14-2010 06:27 PM

look at this way Jim you got the best or vorst from to worlds
the humen made and the nature made that can´t be so bad
that you have to grumble over it …..:—))
and I can tell you the first and only time I saw a Moose was ,
back in the eighti´s when I was driving a aighteenwheeler
with timber back from the north of Sweden to Denmark,
I saw this shadow and heart a terrible bang ,I hit the brakes
and after I had stop I tok a look at the front grill that have
a speciel moosegard (the australien call then kangaruugrill or something like that)
and I can tell you even with that neither the truck or the moose look pretty
I realy want that hadn´t had this experience , evn thow I know if you have
miles enoff somthing will haben.
I like your picture of those two so do I like that Neil is going to bee
very busy the next many times her meet L Js making choclate mousse for them …LoL

thank´s for sharring your story it always great to hear what the Murhy
can come up with and make the day for us (when the episodes is over)
the best laugh is when we can laugh at ourself (and I have to do that a lot) :—))

take care and stay tuned


View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3134 days

#7 posted 04-14-2010 07:08 PM

Moose are unfortunately hit with some frequency in Alaska, especially by trains. Snowmachiners have even made trails for the moose along the tracks so that the moose are less likely to walk the tracks, looking for an easy path. When moose are hit, the meat is given to one of many organizations on a list such as charitable soup kitchens etc. Moose makes good eating, and a killed moose generally does not go to waste in Alaska. Moose meat is generally ranked with beef or buffalo, as equivalent or better in flavor and I can attest to that.

Fortunately we have a lot of moose in Alaska, and they grow much bigger than in the lower 48 states.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3134 days

#8 posted 04-14-2010 07:15 PM

You would think there would be plenty of moose in Norway, especially up north, is that true?

Don’t think I can tell you anything about moose you don’t already know…...........(-:

David Craig
I think the moose here in town kinda know that nobody is going to bother them, but they do have to cross the streets carefully. Otherwise, this is a preferred feeding ground in the winter for moose. Bears are another issue, and they are in the city limits, but mostly at the edge, which puts them in the wilderness. Every once in awhile someone tries to make a case we should get rid of the bears, or allow hunts for the moose on the outskirts of our extremely large city limits, but it never happens. Moose, bears, beaver, and occasionally wolves live in town, but only the moose are regularly in the middle of town.

Moose act like they own the place, and I guess they do…..........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3725 days

#9 posted 04-14-2010 10:20 PM

The worst traffic jams here are when the folks from the senior living centers get their social security checks.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3134 days

#10 posted 04-14-2010 11:05 PM

Well, don’t know if the moose are on social security, but with the easy living for moose here in Anchorage, they may think they are….................(-:

...I suspect a couple of dachhunds don’t look as formidable as a wolf pack…..................

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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