I've taken thousands of images in Monument Valley Park over the past years, but none can compare to those I took of the moose who wandered through that park. Below are just a few of the images I captured of this magnificent animal. An animal who tolerated me for over a month, each and every day. I miss him...
Dances with Moose By Mike "Mooseman" Coletta (Created in 2002)
You've probably seen that movie, the one where the soldier dances with a four legged canine on the prairie, while Indians watch them. He befriends this canine, falls in love with an Indian maiden, who is really a white woman once taken hostage, befriends the Indian tribe, becomes an Indian himself, takes revenge on the soldiers who killed his horse, and his canine friend, then leaves his Indian tribe to save them from the soldiers wrath.
You know the one I'm talking about.
Well, my story is the same, sort of, because, I Danced with a Moose.
It all started when I heard there was a Moose within the city limits.
A feeling inside, drove me. I had to go see this creature of the wild.
And once I did, I couldn't stop myself from going back, again, and again, and again.
It was if I was driven by an unseen force, a spirit.
Each day I had to go find him. And I did, each day from mid December 2001 through late January 2002, I was there. I used a few weeks of vacation time so I could spend longer hours watching and photographing him.
Even after that, until February 16th, I made time for visits.
There were some days, usually the cold and snowy ones, when there was no one else there but he and I.
And those were good days. I just sat and watched him at whatever he was doing. I found such peace in that.
Some days, I would spend so much time, darkness fell upon us. And I'm glad it did, otherwise I would have never captured these silhouette photos.
On this cold and icy night, he afforded me the opportunity, as he wandered to the creek's edge, and placed himself between myself and the light that reflected off the water.
As he traveled up and down the creek in Monument Valley Park, so did I.
If he went to the waters edge, to get a drink, I was there waiting.
I had watched him so much, I now knew his daily routine.
I would place myself into a position where I could capture this routine with my camera. I knew his next move and would go to a spot where the angle would be best.
He is a magnificent animal, and I'm very glad I was a part of him, and he... a part of me.
All photographs Copyright, Mike Coletta