So, in my last post, I shared some photos of one of the hawks that lives with us. In this post, I’ll show a few shots of the elk that I’ve been seeing so much of lately.
When we first moved here, I saw 8 of them browsing in a clearcut near our place, but up until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t seen any since then. Recently, the herd has moved back up to our place, and I see them almost every time I go out to walk. Unlike the moose tribe, the elk have not yet gotten accustomed to us, so they generally take off pretty quick when I come nearby. This has made it hard to get really clear shots (especially since I’m still so slow on the manual camera controls). But here’s what I’ve got so far:
This a a picture of part of the herd — there are 2 more in the woods behind this group. They were grazing in a grassy area in the woods above (on Idaho state forest land). When they saw me and the dogs, they ran down the hill into the open forest on our neighbor’s land below.
A moose was hanging out right near the elk herd. I thought that moose and elk usually kept their distance from each other, but not in this case. Not only was he grazing nearby the elk, but when they took off, he ran after them!
The day before, I had decided to throw on my pack and go for a nice long 3-hour hike in a patch of woods I haven’t explored yet.
I walked up on this solitary elk, who was about 50 feet away, in a pine thicket at the end of an abandoned dirt road behind our place. We stared at each other for a few moments, startled, and then he took off once the dogs started moving towards him. (I’m not sure it’s a “him”, but he looks like a male to me — both in facial features, and his demeanor).
And I had come across this lady a few days earlier (Friday), while she was browsing next to a forest service road, and didn’t notice us until we had gotten up pretty close. Marvin had no idea she was there either. If you look closely (click for larger image), you’ll see that she’s still got a mouthful of grass.
Once we become more comfortable around each other, and they’ll stick around and let me take photos, I’ll get a bit closer and get some clearer shots.