Garden Photo of the Day

Moose in the Garden!

Some unusual garden visitors

female moose laying in a garden

Cheryl shared today’s photos of some unusual garden visitors.

In gathering garden wildlife photos of bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and birds, I realized there was also a recurrent large brown presence among the trees and flowers. So these garden photos are a bit different from the usual exquisite GPOD views, but perhaps they are interesting as a certain kind of garden/nature interaction. Here in the northern Utah mountains, we are privileged to see many different bird species—also deer, raccoons, rabbits, and (ick) voles, etc. Rarely we see a pine marten, and even a mink once. But the most exciting visitors are the moose. We usually see them four or five times a year, led to the garden by a small creek flowing in front of our house. Generations of cows have brought their lovely babies to snack in our garden. They are far less destructive than deer and tread remarkably lightly without crushing plants. They generally only browse on twigs and leaves of young aspen, serviceberry, willows, redtwig dogwood, and also our two overgrown apple trees (moose-pruned!). Only the little calves munch on flowers, and they are welcome to do it any time! One of my best garden memories is seeing a baby moose leaping and cavorting in a sprinkler while Mom trimmed up some young aspens nearby.

Mom moose and calf surrounded by treesMom and calf down in the wilder area along the creek. The redtwig dogwood doesn’t mind their attention from year to year, which helps it bush out with bright red new growth.

moose resting next to flowersThe moose enjoy resting, napping, and ruminating under the apple trees in the shade during summer visits. I will blame this one for the lack of weed whacking along the rocks and the collapsing spent delphiniums! I usually don’t go out when they are present; this photo was taken from our bedroom window.

moose walking through woodland gardenThis cow checked out our exceedingly rustic “folly” with seating area and a little firepit down by the creek.

female moose and calf walking through home gardenIn this different year’s visit, delphiniums (Delphinium elatum, Zones 3–7) were still blooming. Moms usually have one baby but sometimes two. A second one was munching some serviceberry to the left of this frame. A few red raspberries show in the foreground. I’ve always thought they should be moose-munched but they never are except for a few leaves in the fall.

moose and calf drinking from bird bathSome late summer days I have to refill the birdbath. Also, those bricks didn’t get put in for a grass barrier that day.

bull moose sitting in a gardenBulls have visited only twice, a young one many years ago and then this big guy in 2018. I like to think he had been here before when he was a little calf and came back for another summer nap under the apple trees.

moose in a fall gardenA cow visiting in autumn has a shaggy coat wet from rain. She has a calf lying just past her on the other side of this small hill. They have never knocked over a pot! Gambel oak leaves cover the ground.

moose in a winter gardenWinter visits are mainly for apple twigs and frozen apples dug from under the snow. I love seeing the large gentle creatures easing around the garden any time of year!


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View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 03/29/2021

    The pictures of the moose and youngster were truly heartwarming and so entertaining. Thank you ever so much for them. They “did my heart good” to paraphrase my mother. Just delightful.

  2. user-7032743 03/29/2021

    Thank you love the moose in the garden.

  3. garden1953 03/29/2021

    Wonderful! I love the photo of them drinking from the birdbath.

  4. PattyLouise 03/29/2021

    What delightful photos to see this morning! So darn cute (as long as it's not my yard). We have deer to contend with. Love your pergola! Thanks for sharing your wildlife & your gardens!

  5. mainer59 03/29/2021

    What amazing pictures! Where is this garden? The only clue is "gamble oak" which I think is a western tree. It is remarkable that they are welcome and do minimal damage to your garden.

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/29/2021

    Oh,my. What a surprise to see moose drinking from a birdbath! Share more of what you have in your garden (other than moose).

  7. User avater
    user-7007816 03/29/2021

    What a delightful set of photos and what a remarkably positive attitude you have toward them.

  8. becky44 03/29/2021

    Love these! Incredible photos and I enjoyed learning a bit about your 'gentle giants'. Your folly is inspiring to me. I may start saving branches today...

  9. User avater
    Dee21 03/29/2021

    Absolutely beautiful, each picture is fascinating to look at! Have never seen any like this...thanks for sharing!

  10. sagebird52 03/29/2021

    Beautiful, thank you for sharing your great experiences

  11. bdowen 03/29/2021

    What a wonderful collection of photos! Bunnies, chipmunks and squirrels I see in my yard frequently but how mind-stretching to see the moose in your rustic and interestingly designed gazebo. Thinking about the mom protecting her young ones, lapping up the bird bath water and the bull moose napping in the flowers. Thank you for sharing this!

  12. cynthia2020 03/29/2021

    Cheryl - I was surprised and delighted to see your lovely photos and read your interesting gardening story. Thank you for sharing!

    And how clever of you to get such nice photographic combinations of moose and flowers or moose and elements in garden!

  13. User avater
    simplesue 03/29/2021

    Ooooooooh I love how happy and welcome they look in your garden. Fabulous photos!!!!! Love it!!!!

  14. janeeliz 03/29/2021

    What at treat...for us to see your lovely deer..and for you to experience the thrill of their visit! They are beautiful...and I am glad to hear that they don't do much damage. Thank you for sharing this rare and special event.

  15. carolcowee 03/29/2021

    Delightful for sure. Great photos and learning they aren't destructive. I have a wee ground squirrel doing incredible damage...munching plants to the ground. Moose apparently "tip toe through the tulips!"

  16. btucker9675 03/29/2021

    These moose made my morning!! It's so funny that they haven't trampled things to the ground - in my northern NJ gardens, the wild turkeys would stomp through leaving destruction in their wake. They were not respectful like your moose. : )

  17. sheila_schultz 03/29/2021

    Your photos of the mama's and their calves in your lovely gardens are the perfect start to my week! The mother's always remember the safe haven your gardens provide their babes. What a gift! I love it, thank you.

  18. gardendevas 03/29/2021

    How delightful!! What special visitors, who obviously enjoy your garden. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Maggieat11 03/29/2021

    Thanks so much for sharing your photos! Loved them.

  20. erla 03/29/2021

    How fortunate you are to have those gentle giants a part of your life. Thank you for sharing them with us. I am touched.

  21. ellen_h 03/30/2021

    These might be my favorite garden photos ever!

  22. user-5117752 03/30/2021

    Simply fabulous! What a treat you've provided for all of us!!! Yes, yes, thank you!!!

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