23 Nov 2013

Wolves and mice and bears! Oh my!

This weekend I'm spending further up north with Mr A.'s family. They even have snow here already! And dark forests. I really get to feel what a spoiled city girl I am. Can't even go out for a walk since I'm too scared of meeting a wolf or bear on the forest roads. Not a completely unfounded fear since their neighbours' cow (cows even maybe?) was recently killed by something that was either a wolf or a bear or perhaps even several of these. No one here seems to think it's a good idea to go out walking right now, so must stay here and ramble on about nothing instead.

And there are mice in the attic! Mice are cute, but only when they stay in the forest. Or are pet mice. Although if I were to choose I much rather have a mouse inside the house than meet a bear in the middle of the forest, while alone, on a jog (no mice in the attic: this was NOT an invitation!). Unless I have my camera with me of course and the bear is far away enough not to be a threat. And how far would that have to be? Would my zoom manage that kind of distance, I wonder? Might be quite exciting to have a picture of a bear. Hmm... on second thought, maybe I'll leave that to others. I'd be too afraid. I can imagine how my arms would be shaking too much to take a picture.

Last summer we were supposed to go for a walk in the forest here. We walked perhaps 100 m and heard some noise in the bushes only about 10 m from us. Innocent me was thinking: oh, it must be some cute bunnies, how lovely. But those cute small bunnies were two big elk. When they heard us they started running one way, then stopped, then ran back and crossed our road and stopped. Then they stood there among the trees and stared at us. We stared back. They eventually won the staring contest and we turned back. Very curious elk. Usually they are afraid of humans but these two young ones just didn't know what to think of us. Amazing animals. Even though elk aren't exactly dangerous to humans, the young ones especially, can be unpredictable. So better show them respect and walk away.

My fingers were shaking too much to take a picture, but luckily Mr A. has a steadier hand and managed to capture the mighty kings of the forest. Or these two were probably still princes, but still.

Staring elk. Picture by Mr A.
Oh and if someone reading this isn't familiar with The Wizard of Oz, the title of the post is very much a rip off from there. With just slight alterations of course. Not many lions and tigers in the forests here in Finland. And no, we don't have polar bears either.


  1. I see deer regularly when I go hiking, and a couple of times I've seen a bobcat and a mountain lion, but bears?! Elk?! I'd be terrified!

    1. Sounds exciting seeing bobcats and mountain lions! And yeah, better stay away from bears... haven't seen one in the wild and it's better not to... Yikes!


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