I looked everywhere today, in their last remaining habitat, for signs of my favorite woodland animal. No luck.
Not in the wide valleys and brushy meadows in Waterton park, or in Glacier National Park.
Not along the Pend Oreille River on its course through northeast Washington and into Idaho. Not along the Kettle River from Canada through Curlew and south, even though we saw a lot of the habitat that moose love.
Not even around the beaver ponds in the highlands above the Pend Oreille river, on the drive to Gardner Cave. The ranger there said she's often seen moose at the beaver ponds, especially in the early morning and late evening hours, but we couldn't wait until the perfect time.
After our cave walk we spent some time at the beaver ponds. It's one of the most peaceful places I've ever seen. I sat beside one of the ponds and wished I could have stayed there for a couple of hours. The light was so beautiful in the late afternoon, and the clouds were reflected in the still surface of the pond.
It would have been the perfect place to be, if there had just been a moose.