We live in northern Colorado, about an hour’s drive from the town of Estes Park and adjacent Rocky Mountain National Park. People come from all over the world to view the wildlife. My husband and I like to keep fit by hiking the trails; our big bonus is being able to experience nature and observe the wildlife.
In the late fall the herds of elk migrate down from the high country into the valleys where they are quite easy to observe. Although the big crowds of tourists are fewer than in the summer, plenty of people come out to see the magnificent herds of elk.
Although the park rangers discourage visitors from close-up contact with the elk, people usually persist and get pretty close especially to take photos, but very few injuries occur.
The elk are docile, peace-loving creatures who usually move slowly and calmly , grazing as they roam. It’s difficult to appreciate their massive size until you get close to them.
Last November, as we were leaving the Park, all traffic suddenly came to an abrupt halt.
We were stopped for quite a while before we realized the reason: a huge herd of elk was crossing the road, very slowly and casually. People stopped their cars, some pulled off the road , grabbed their cameras, and took lots of photos. To our great dismay, our camera had run out of battery, so we eagerly watched this herd which numbered around 200. Several bull elk were jousting, clattering their horns to impress the cows. A group of young elk were frolicking together. They didn’t pay any attention to the throng of humans that were watching. It was as if we were invisible.
Although our journey was delayed for almost an hour, we didn’t care. That experience was the highlight of our day. If we only had an extra battery for our camera…
On a previous occasion, we were camera-ready for the action, taking the photo which inspired this original painting. To see more Click this link: Bugling Bull Elk.