July 14, 2013 in Features

The Slice: Last one in the pool is a sweltering moose

By The Spokesman-Review
 

When you’re hot, you’re hot.
(Full-size photo)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Madonna Luers saw Thursday’s Slice question about animals in wading pools.

She then passed along a photo that one of her colleagues took in Spokane County several years ago.

A “Jaws”-esque caption might be, “We’re gonna need a bigger pool.”

“Over the years here at WDFW we have had many cases of moose cooling off in the summer around here using everything from sprinklers to full-fledged swimming pools,” she said. “I remember one situation with a big bull swimming around someone’s pool several times, then carefully walking out up the pool steps, carefully stepping over (not on) patio furniture and nonchalantly hopping over a very high, solid privacy fence.”

On his way, no doubt, to pull a rabbit out of his hat for the amusement of a flying squirrel. “Hey, Rock …”

Luers continued. “If the reporting party hadn’t seen it, the only evidence that it actually happened would have been some stray moose hairs in the pool filter.”

Other varieties of wildlife also like to take a dip.

John Haladyna and Georgia Nast, who live a block away from the Spokane River, put in a small pool for the convenience of a pair of ducks that visit their yard. “From late fall to early spring, they bring their relatives and friends, sometimes 30 or more. But late spring to early summer, it’s just the two. In fact, they chase away any others since we put the pool in for them. They pop in three or four times a day for a snack and a swim. When the weather warms they seem to like the river best.”

At night, raccoons use the little pool.

That’s the thing about living in the Inland Northwest. You just never know who is going to drop in.

One morning a few years ago, Ellen Hodde, of Colville, looked out to see a red-tailed hawk playing in her sprinkler. “The hawk was there flapping his wings in the spray for maybe 10 minutes.”

It was, she said, something to see.

Today’s Slice question: Ever get seasick on a lake?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. You can have my ceiling fans when you pry my cold, dead fingers from the switch.


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