Category Archives: nature

Half the Battle

I think I’ve mentioned this before but a recent blog (cravesadventure – Recess Time) reminded me that photography is my playtime.  With camera in hand, I look for beautiful and/or interesting things to photograph.   I love to freeze the moment so I can look into it closer and sometimes study it.  I often research things that I don’t understand.  Then I’ve preserved a reminder, for years to come, that God is amazing and kind in His creations.  He provided beauty and interest and food to enrich our lives, not just for our mere existence.

Spike Bull Elk
Spike Bull Elk

This yearling bull elk has a healthy coat this summer.  His diet is given away by the grass hanging out of his mouth and the grass seeds on his forehead.

I love seeing the incredible-timing photographs of wildlife.  I know how lucky you have to be to get those.  I’ve captured some of those without my knowledge until I’ve gotten back home and downloaded my camera to my laptop.  Half the battle is being in the right place at the right time.  The other half is having my camera pointed in the right direction, and in the right mode, when the incredible happens.  The two yearling elk (in the photo below) stood up on their hind legs and pawed at each other.  I could hear their hooves click as they hit each other.   It lasted 15 seconds and I couldn’t convince them to do it again after I was ready.  Here’s half the battle:

Elk Battle
Half of the Elk Battle

sigh: video of the whole battle would have been more fun

This blog is more of a scrapbook for me than for anyone else.  When I am old and unable to get outside, maybe this blog will be my playtime.  Although, recently, a music artist (Twilly Frost) asked if he could buy rights to one of my photos for his album cover; so that was unexpected and (I admit) flattering.

Elk Calving on Oregon Coast

I was just reading the article below that says the elk are calving a little late this year:  Protective mother elk menaces Gearhart beachgoers

I wonder what causes that?  A long, warmer-than-usual autumn?  Not sure but I’m glad the little ones started showing up.  You can see the difference in size of these calves as the larger one was probably born 3 or 4 weeks earlier than the others.

elk-calves-2

I just think they are adorable with their fluffy coat and white spots.  They outgrow their spots in late fall.  They even have the light brown rump but it is not as pronounced as the adult’s.

elk calf
Fluffy elk calf with spots

The cows leave the main herd before giving birth.  Mom’s leave their calves in the tall grass to rest while she feeds.  If you see a calf with no adult elk around, fight the urge to “save” it.  Do NOT approach it.  The calf is just fine.  You would put the calf in danger.  Mom WILL be back.  See how well they can hide in the tall grass in the photo below.

Elk Calf Hiding in Tall Grass
Elk Calf Hiding in Tall Grass

We often see the bull hanging around the cows and calves. Even the yearlings seem concerned or curious when the little ones are crying for mom. The bulls don’t get competitive with the younger bulls until late fall.

We counted 6 calves on this day; July 1, 2017.

elk-calf-injured-1

After I got these photos on the computer I noticed a bright red smudge on the cheek of the calf on the left.  Making sure it wasn’t a photo-glitch, I checked another photo of the calf and it was there too.  I’m guessing it was injured when trying to get through a barbwire fence.  Elk cost ranchers a lot of money by damaging their fences.  But the fence won the battle today.  😦