It is a rather rare occurrence, here in Camden, to see a moose. Mary Jo and I have been here over 10 years now and we have had only 4 moose sightings. Two of them were actually in the parking lot of the Hartstone Inn. This recent sighting happened on Thursday, April 24th and this picture was taken by an innkeeper up the road in the back yard of his Inn. Typically, when we see a moose in town, it usually means the black flies are so bad up in the hills and the moose come down to sea level to escape them.
The two moose incidents at our Inn each have a funny story that goes with them. The first sighting occurred in our first year at the Inn. Mary Jo and I were sitting at the kitchen counter at the Inn, just finishing dinner service and having a bite to eat, when we noticed a police cruiser (flashing blue lights on) in the parking lot of the real estate agency next door. I got up to check it out and I noticed that there was also another police cruiser on the other side of the house with lights on. We were perplexed. I went up front to see what was going on and another police car in front of the Inn. Oh my God, I thought, we’re surrounded. Thoughts ran through our minds – maybe one of our guests is a drug dealer or an escaped felon, or maybe someone got injured and called for help, I just know I was cautious as I exited through the front door (should I have my hands up above my head?) I approached the police car and was informed that there was a moose in my back parking lot and they were trying to chase it back up to the mountain. A little too much excitement for my first moose sighting.
The second sighting happened while Mary Jo and I were out enjoying a nice lunch with some friends down at Camden harbor. It was a beautiful day and the schooners were parading in the harbor, so I ran up to the Inn to get the camera. As I approached the Inn I spotted a police car at the Inn and a mob of people gathered. Oh no, what now I thought! Turns out that the police escort in these moose sightings is the normal protocol as a lost and confused moose can be a deadly thing. I went back to the parking lot and there it was, a young moose (much like the one pictured above) in the parking lot and just then a car pulled into our lot. The couple got out of the car and I introduced myself. They were visitors from England, checking in to the Inn and their first impression of Camden was a moose in the parking lot. I didn’t spoil it for them, I’d just let them think that this was an every day occurrence. If only I could arrange that for all of our visiting guests.
photo courtesy of Terry Hazzard