Sunday, October 2, 2011

the Elk

I spent the night in Crescent City, getting up early so I could take my time moseying down the coast. I was hoping to take lots of pictures.

The absolute highlight of the day happened as I was driving through Redwood National Park. I had stopped at the Visitors Center, where there is a huge meadow with a sign taking about the elk herd.

But there were no elk to be seen.

I went in to the Visitors Center where they told me that they hadn't seen the elk in a couple of days. Oh well, I had a lot of miles to cover and was most excited about the ocean views anyway.

Then, just a few miles up the road, I saw a bunch of cars pulled over, so of course, I had to look. . .

And there in an open meadow
was a herd of elk.

These guys were standing
out in the middle of a meadow,
looking kind of lost and forlorn.

A close up . . .

I soon found out that they were looking this way because, off to the left about one hundred yards was a herd of females. They were being guarded by one gigantic buck.

Here's a close up
of the poor young bucks,
hoping to sneak into the herd.
As always, you can click any photo
for more detail.

But the big buck catches him
and sends him running.

Then bellows at him for a while,
just to make sure he knows his place.

"Oh all right, I'll go away.
Not happily, but I'll go away.
Till I try again."

And this is what it was all about.
Out of decorum, I edited this a bit.

If you're interested in the original, click here.

I spent a couple of hours watching this herd, I have to tell you, it was fascinating. I've never been this close to such a large number of wild animals. Birds, yes, but not any animals near this large. These guys were huge. And quite beautiful

If you ever get the chance to visit this area, make sure you ask around and see if the herd is out and about. And if it's rutting season, all the better.

Tomorrow, down the coast.


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Good Elk pictures! We watched for a moose in all the northeast states that warn of them running everywhere on the roads. In over two months-no moose:(

Judy and Emma said...

I always think it's nice to take the time to enjoy nature and natural happenings. :)

Jerry and Suzy said...

We have seen the mighty Roosevelt Elk up in that area, but never in the large groups you report on. How many readers, do you suppose, actually clicked to see the original picture? Did you set a counter on that?

Donna K said...

You are too funny with your editing!! Yup those big old bucks are gonna protect their harem, feel kinda sorry for the young bucks trying to find a "bride." Beautiful shots.

Angie said...

So glad you got to see the Elk. Another great place to view & photograph Elk is in Estes Park, CO just outside the national park. The Elk come into town in the evening and wonder around yards and campgrounds so they are easy to spot. Somewhere I have photos of a male standing next to a car which really gives perspective on the size of these creatures.

Russ Krecklow said...

Great shots of those bull elk! That big one is certainly the King, isn't he? That's the way it works in the world of elk. Nice editing job to appease our sensitivities.

Now you can continue to post some more of those coast shots that I know you got.