Monday Morning Blether

Getting Close to Nature in Sweden

I was once walking in Scotland and got really close to a moose, a wee, sleekit, cowerin' timorous beastie. I wasn't really paying attention, marching along, head far away in some mathematics problem, probably, and got within just a metre or two of it before I noticed it and it noticed me and one of us took fright and dashed away. In Scotland this is easily done. In fact, I have probably done it many times.

Last month I managed the same trick in Sweden. This is not so easily done. Unlike in Scotland, where a moose is no bigger than your thumb, scuttering about in the grasses, in Sweden they are considerably bigger. They dominate the landscape much in the same way as, say, a barn or a double decker bus. They are hard to miss. One can live in this wonderful country for many years and not get close to one, but if one does hove into view there is seldom any doubt about the fact. They do not scutter about in the grasses here.

Nevertheless, even though I no longer get lost in mathematics problems all the time, still I managed to stomp along a path in the skogen and get remarkably close to this beast while lost on other matters. It wasn't behind the trees, lost behind a ridge, hiding behind a hill. No, it was in the open, chewing a reflective cud. No doubt it was ruminating on the vision in yellow windcheater marching towards it, considering that normally such walkers had stopped walking and starting gawping by now, idly meditating on whether to charge or not.

Moose charges can be nasty. You should not invite them. In fact, it is a really bad idea to just march up to one. You should pay attention.

I survived. There was no charge. I just got ruminated at. A moose, I like to think, with much the same attitude to the world as me. But I shall try to avoid repeating the trick. Next time I might get a different moose. I shall try to pay more attention. Next time.


At least the pictures afterwards were good.
Moose. Path. Note to self - don't get that close again.