By Nick Thomas
As our summer season in Maine winds down and we proceed our photographic quest for moose whereas exploring the state, we lately found the charming village of Kokadjo (pronounced co-CAD-jo) on the jap aspect of Moosehead Lake.
The time period “village” right here is sort of an embellishment, because the hospitable signal shortly after crossing the Roach River bridge amusingly clarifies. In reality, we have been instructed the present inhabitants hovers someplace between 4 and 6.
From Greenville, our northbound journey to Kokadjo concerned a leisurely 25-minute drive alongside paved Lily Bay Street, guided by the reassuring presence of moose warning indicators that dotted the way in which. Lily Bay State Park lies about midway between Greenville and Kokadjo and is a good place to cease for a number of hours, with the simple two-mile Shoreline Path offering wonderful vistas of Moosehead Lake.
Shortly after passing the park at round 2 p.m., we noticed our first moose of the journey, leisurely strolling throughout the street. Such encounters are fairly frequent alongside this route, we have been instructed, and it’s a good suggestion for passengers to have cameras in hand provided that these sizable creatures can swiftly vanish into the encompassing foliage as autos method.
Kokadjo lies on the north finish of three,300-acre First Roach Pond with wonderful fishing for coldwater sport fish (apparently, there’s additionally Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Roach Ponds, however oddly no Fifth).
Buildings are sparse in Kokadjo with a number of weathered constructions which can be doubtless remnants of a bygone farm period. There are additionally seven totally outfitted trendy log cabins for hire that line the waterfront.
The Kokadjo Buying and selling Put up & Comfort Retailer on the opposite aspect of the street gives meals, souvenirs and provides for guests.
Continuing north from Kokadjo, the paved street quickly turned to dust however remained simply navigable. After a couple of mile, we reached a fork and turned left onto Spencer Bay Street the place we quickly stumbled on an space often called the Lazy Tom Lavatory, reportedly a scorching spot for sighting moose feeding on reeds at dawn and nightfall.
Simply after the bridge on the bathroom, on the precise, is a parking space, common with moose spotters and anglers casting their strains into the waters beneath the bridge. However regardless of a number of journeys to the picturesque space through the day and night, our efforts to identify moose there remained unrewarded.
Dodging the occasional passing logging truck (which all the time maintain the precise of manner), we continued on Spencer Bay Street for an additional mile or two, coming to a different boggy space on the left. Though we visited a number of occasions with out sighting any moose, we arrived one night after sundown and noticed a big cow moose feeding regardless of the quickly fading gentle.
Whereas I’ve come to the conclusion that photographing moose would possibly greatest be left to the professionals, the Kokadjo deer proved extra cooperative. We noticed many grazing within the shrubs alongside Lily Bay Street all through the day. In a single occasion, we pulled over to see a white-tailed deer about 10 toes away that simply stared at us for a couple of minute till a logging truck zoomed previous.
With many lakes and ponds, giant and small, dotting the world, we determined to strive moose-spotting from a canoe early one morning. From the far aspect of the shore, we noticed two moose feeding, a cow and presumably her younger bull calf. It was a picture I had envisioned for a while — moose leisurely foraging in a serene lake, framed by the grandeur of Maine’s majestic mountains merging with a silhouetted tree line.
As we quietly paddled nearer — conscious of the moose’s acute sense of listening to — we have been in a position to keep a distance of about 300 toes with out distressing the animals. However a wobbly canoe and my quite modest telephoto lens, I used to be in a position to snap the very best moose photographs thus far throughout our summer season in Maine.
Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn College at Montgomery in Alabama and has written options, columns and interviews for quite a few publications. He’s visiting the College of Maine this summer season and touring the state together with his spouse, Debby.