Sunday, September 14, 2014

Yellowstone National Park: Part 4

Close Encounters




I was checking in to Mammoth Campground when the ranger informed me about a herd of elk moving through the campsites.  Drive slowly, she advised. Remember, it’s rutting season and the elk can be aggressive. 

As I approached my surprisingly secluded campsite, I found it surrounded by the entire herd.  



I counted 18 elk - males, females, and a few young ones.   



This Bull was lazing under a tree, not 15 feet away.  



I stayed in the GDB, observing them for a couple of hours.  Being surrounded these magnificent animals is an intense experience. 

At one point, I was gazing at the Bull, wishing he would bugle.  Then, as if on cue, he did!  I was so carried away by the moment that I gasped.  I swear he turned and looked right at me as if to say, Yeah ... I have that effect on the ladies. 

He dozed in the shade of the tree even as birds perched on his antlers.  Until then, I had never considered how very much like branches antlers are.  (That Darwin guy knew his stuff). 






Eventually, something caused him to stir and he charged over to a group of females right outside my door.




I should apologize for the poor quality of my photos but all were taken through my living room windows.  Anyway, I would rather live the experience than document it. 

And what an experience!  


13 comments:

  1. Intense indeed! Lucky you! I sure would be glad to have a hard-side camper with no need to go outside, though.

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    1. I know. My only regret is that a herd of bison didn't appear.

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  2. Wow, what great photos! (especially the last one!). What a wonderful thing to live amongst the elk and share their world for a few hours!

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  3. What an awesome experience! I would have been entranced by them too! Very, very cool!

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  4. I can't believe I missed you here in Missouri!!!?????

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  5. Maybe I got hacked....Yellowstone to Wilson's Creek in one day??

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    1. Lol. I left Yellowstone a week ago for home. My blog is behind due to the computer issues. Surfing and commenting courtesy of my Kindle.

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  6. They are such huge creatures and so very beautiful as long as you stay out of their way. You really captured them even through the window.

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  7. Well that would have been crazy wild we had run into each other. The elk are beautiful!!! Travel safe...

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  8. It was intense just reading about it!

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  9. Wow! How cool! So glad you showed it to us!

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  10. Oh my god, your photos are just absolutely out of this world. I probably would have had painful lungs after that experience from having held my breath for so long. I can't believe you were that close, that is just amazing. And intense is a good word!!

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