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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
They’re beautiful animals without a doubt.
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.
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.
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!