Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Elk Stamp(ede) Of Approval

Bull elk on our adjoining property.

Tuesday morning started out like any other morning. I sat by the table with my mug of coffee and admired the strange light outside. There were dark clouds to the west while the sun was coming up in the east. Kind of ominous looking but beautiful at the same time. The day before we had a rainy day that resulted in nearly 1.25 inches of rain, pretty rare for up here. The wood stove kept us cozy all day while we put the first puzzle together of the visit. 

As I sat there gazing out at our newly cleaned up meadow watching the sun rising higher and higher, I noticed the light was just starting to hit an aspen in the forest, lighting it up like a golden torch. I went to get my camera and when I next looked out I saw two animals that I at first thought were deer and then realized they were elk and let out a big gasp. I excitedly told Rick we had elk in our meadow -- finally!

At first there were only a few, then more kept coming out of the forest. (The forest by the way we named the Ewok Forest because of all the tall straight pines --now of which most are dead. If you are a fan of Star Wars you will understand the name as a great chase scene took place in such a forest.) Within a few minutes the meadow looked like this.

All cow elk and babies. We knew Mr. Bull Elk could not be far off and then we heard him bugle. My excitment went off the charts! Bull, or male elk, only bugle during their rut (mating season) in the fall. We've heard a lot of bugling this year. It's a very odd sound, and if you don't know what it sounds like, listen here. We didn't have long to wait until Mr. Bull made his grand appearance. 

What a beautiful bull! It almost seemed like he was posing for us but I think he was really keeping his eye on us. Just look at the rack of antlers! We later learned that since he has seven points (counting his antler points on one side) his is considered a "royal." And royal he is indeed. Just look at the spread of his antlers.

The little ones were so cute.

Here is what it looked like looking out the dining room window.

They stayed and ate grass, nibbled on baby aspens (darn!) for a good twenty mintues or. Then, they spooked for some reason and took off at a run with even more coming out of the forest to join them. It looked like they had gone out to the main road and were headed (possibly) past our driveway. So, with bathrobe and slippers flapping, I headed down the driveway. I was not sorry I did. This is what I saw.

And here I am standing behind our fence at the beginning of our driveway looking out to our adjoing piece of land to give you some idea how close they were.

Then I finally got the shot you see at the very beginnig of this post. You can see the dusting of snow on the mountains behind him. 

It was a magical, almost unreal experience to see them that close and probably one we might never have the pleasure to experience again. I leave you with his last bugle before they headed out over the hill.

Comments:

What a wonderful sight!  That bull elk is so imposing. How does he even navigate thru dense trees with a rack like that?  Would hate to meet him in a dark alley!


I love their flag tails.  Wish I could have seen them in person, but glad you captured the pictures. Thanks.

This is very cool!  David was telling us about this last night.  Sure made me wish I was up there as well.  I am so happy you got to enjoy this amazing event!!

Pretty wonderful indeed, Bigsis.

Debra, news travels fast up here! smile Wish we could have seen you this time. Maybe next time ...

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