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When Bill Bell of Saco was heading home on June 8 after a fishing trip in Baxter State Park, he noticed something in the water while driving across the bridge over Nesowadnehunk Stream.

It was a cow moose and its calf making their way through the water.

“It was pure luck,” Bell said of the sighting. “It was just pure happenstance of crossing the bridge over the Newsowadnehunk at the right time.

He had seen moose before, plenty of times, including once in the early morning hours while leaving Baxter State Park. But this was midmorning.

When Bell came upon the moose, he was able to snap a photo through the window of his vehicle.

“When I first came across the scene they were closer, and the calf was in the water up to its neck, but they kept on trudging across,” he said.

Not so lucky were some of Bell’s friends who had also been camping in the park. One had left 20 minutes or so before him, while the other vehicle came out some 20 minutes later.

Neither saw any moose near the bridge.

One of his companions on the trip is an accomplished wildlife photographer who has been hoping to come across a moose in his travels.

“He has visited every single national park, plus a bunch of wildlife refuges, and he had never seen a moose before,” Bell said. “We went to Baxter Park and he saw a moose at great distance, on the other side of a large pond, so he was extremely jealous of my pictures.”

Bell’s discovery didn’t come in the best of circumstances as he was in his vehicle with the window closed. Even so, he enjoyed watching as the cow and calf trudged through the stream.

“Just to see the grace of the moose,” Bell said. “People think of them as awkward, because they’re so strange looking, but they’re obviously made to fit into walking in streams and bogs.”

Bell described the smooth strides through the water as having the ability to happily amble across the stream.

He found it touching how the calf stayed right at its mother’s rear leg as the cow found the most advantageous path.

“It was certainly exciting,” Bell said.

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...