We have a storm moose. Well, two of them actually; an enormous mother moose and last year?s baby who definitely takes after its mama in size. I don?t know where they hang out when the sun is shining, but whenever a blizzard blows in they head for our yard. And by yard, I do mean yard. I am not merely referring to the outer edges of our farm.

The other night our satellite dish stopped working so Darcy headed off into the storm to knock the snow off the dish. The snow was coming down so thick and fast it filled his tracks as he walked around the house. On the return trip he noticed something interesting. While he could no longer see his own tracks, two pairs of moose tracks were freshly etched into his narrow pathway. For all he knew he had brushed shoulders with a moose while brushing the snow off the dish. Going out into a blizzard is exciting enough without stumbling into a mother moose and her baby!

The next morning I went out to do chores and noticed the baby moose ? and I use that term loosely for the gargantuan creature ? standing beside the former playhouse which is now home to Shoeless the cat. As I hesitated, a movement caught my eye and I turned to my right to find myself face to face with Mother Moose. She looked like she wanted to sample the kitty kibble in my hand. I politely told her no, only it came out more like, ?Eeeeiiiiyoonooo!!!?

My spontaneous shriek didn?t faze her in the least, nor was she impressed by the flying kibble as I tripped and fell over a snow drift before clawing my way up the steps and into the safety of the house.

Shoeless, who had witnessed the entire sorry scene from her playhouse porch, was even less impressed to watch her breakfast raining down like confetti while her cowardly server headed back indoors. A great while later the moose moved on, the cat got fed and the magpies made short work of the scattered kibble.

A couple days later Darcy and I started noticing something odd about our vehicles. They looked sort of spotty. We would arrive home with our vehicles uniformly covered in highway slush but by morning the vehicles had these random clean patches all over them. The windows looked even stranger. They were covered in streaks. Yesterday morning all was explained when Darcy went out and caught the moose in the act of licking our vehicles. He even took a picture, should the moose try to deny it.

Apparently our moose are road salt connoisseurs? and our vehicles were covered with it. Or at least they were until the moose licked them off. Everyone knows salt is bad for your vehicles but I ask you, how many are fortunate enough to have a pair of their very own salt lickers? I appreciate the moose licking the salt off our vehicles, but not so much the tongue streaks all over the windows.

Last night I had an interesting thought. You know how people are always getting their tongues stuck to metal objects in the winter time? It occurred to me that our vehicles have a whole lot of metal surfaces on them. Can you imagine the excitement of waking up to find a moose tethered to your truck by its tongue? Not to mention the phone call that would follow. ?Hello? I?m afraid I?m going to be late for work this morning. I have a moose attached to my hubcap by her tongue.?

Just one more reason to pray for mild weather . . .

Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from the Peace River country. You can read more of her writing at