Tag Archives: oregon

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.

Advertisements

Otters Boiling the Alsea River

The river otters are fun to watch. There is such a flurry of activity in the water even before you know what’s making all the ripples.  I like them to come up on land so I can keep track of them while I count noses.

7-otter family
7-Otter Family

They almost never sit still for a photo.

Elk Fog Horn

The fog was so thick this morning that I could hardly see across the Alsea River near the Oregon Coast.  Then I heard an elk call from a calf.  They sound like a weaker version of the adult cow.  So I looked and saw one or two elk making their way across the field making calls to each other like a sonar tracking system.  Then the rest of the herd appeared as the fog lightened a little.

Elk in Fog Video

elk on foggy morning
Elk on foggy morning

Mink vs Mallards on the Alsea River

This Mallard mama did not turn her back on the mink that was running alongside her family on the Alsea River this morning.

Mallard mom with 5 ducklings
Mallard mom with 5 ducklings

The mink ran ahead; darting in and out of the riverside debris.

Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling
Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling

Mama-duck quacked and followed the mink to keep it moving and to let it know she was vigilantly protecting her ducklings.

mallard mom lays down the law
I said, Listen to me!

She see’s her children are paying attention when she didn’t think they were.

mallard duckling imitates mom
If Mom can do this, I can do this.

I wonder what else mink eat?  This one might not get duck for lunch.

Mink on the Alsea River
Mink on the Alsea River

Great Blue Heron Meal Rescued

I was wandering around the Alsea River at low tide today; just exploring and being fascinated by how time can shape a rock.

rock erosion
Small rock over time makes hole bigger

rock-holes-3 rock-holes-4

A Great Blue Heron flew in and landed upstream looking for lunch.

great blue heron
Great Blue Heron

Then I stumbled onto a land-locked lamprey eel.  Hhhmmm…must be what he’s looking for?

lamprey eel
Lamprey Eel

Upon Don’s suggestion, I tossed him over to another pool so he could escape into the river.

[youtube https://youtu.be/QKyu6I5z4do]

Sorry, Mr Heron, but I don’t mind if you eat this little guy:

garter snake
Garter Snake

3 Elk Calves

There were 3 elk calves in this small Roosevelt Elk herd today.  I read that a calf is fully weaned by the end of the summer…about 2 months old.  And a calf will gain 250-300 pounds in the first year.  As quickly as they gain weight, maybe these 2 calves are only a couple weeks apart?  I’ve got more questions than answers!

Calves find Mom by smell
How do calves and moms find each other again?

The calves don’t stick right next to mom all day so do they find each other again by smell or voice or sight?  I’ve seen the calf get close to a couple cows who chase it away before she finds the one she can nurse.

elk cow and calf
Cow not happy with calf

At least once during the summer I’ll see a yearling nursing and wonder if the mom had and lost a calf and her last year’s calf is just opportunistic?

Elk Yearling Nursing
Elk Yearling Nursing

They’re beautiful animals without a doubt.

elk calf sizes
Big size difference between calves

The Roosevelt Elk calves will mostly lose their spots by winter.  But the yearlings still act like kids; jumping, running and playing with each other.  Here’s one of the little calves trying to figure out the purpose of a scarecrow.  To watch this YouTube video in a larger window, click on the play arrow and then on the YouTube icon in the lower right corner.

Otter family on the Alsea

The otter family can be quiet when they want to.  This family has 4 kits.  The fourth is up in the grass outside the picture frame.

Otter family on Alsea River
Otter family on Alsea River

They were swimming downriver when the one in the video below saw a mudcat (sculpin) that it decided to have for lunch.  I was surprised at how long he kept after that fish until he caught it.  Based on the otter’s moves, that sculpin was pretty experienced at evading danger!

[youtube https://youtu.be/YHpYztlUybM]