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Elk

Are you looking at my ladies?

‘Are you looking at my ladies?’ A bull elk keeps close watch on his harem including making sure humans don’t get too close. He had a smaller sized harem of about 15 cows and yearlings.

The rut is winding down now. Having been to Rocky Mountain National Park 3 out of the past 4 weeks it is obvious the bulls are getting very tired. They are moving a lot slower, their bugles are quieter and they just don’t seem to have the energy they did when it started.

A bull elk keeps close watch on a cow. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull elk keeps close watch on a cow. (© Tony’s Takes)

Grazing elk and fall foliage in the Colorado high country

The changing of the seasons in the Centennial State is one of the best times of years here. Weather conditions are typically pleasant and up in the mountains the changing foliage streaks the landscape in gold. Throw in our abundant wildlife and you have some great photo opportunities.

I took hundreds of pictures this past weekend and this is my favorite – in fact it is one of my favorites that I have ever taken.

The sky was quite overcast but for a brief time soon after sunrise the sun made an appearance at the horizon bathing this area of Rocky ?Mountain? National Park in sunlight. At the far edge of the meadows, aspen trees were radiant gold. In the foreground, an ?elk? bull bugled as he kept close watch on his grazing cows. It was an amazing scene to witness and I am very pleased to have been able to capture it.

Elk graze in a meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Elk graze in a meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bull elk interrupts breakfast to bugle

‘Didn’t your mama teach you not to talk with your mouth full?’

This bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park was calmly eating breakfast until he heard another bull nearby bugle. That prompted him to sound off as well to serve as a warning that interlopers were not welcome and that he would defend his harem of 20 or so cows.

A bull elk stops eating breakfast to bugle and warn off possible intruders.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull elk stops eating breakfast to bugle and warn off possible intruders. (© Tony’s Takes)

Two young bull elk spar

Two young elk bulls square off on the shores of Lake Estes in Estes Park, Colorado.

While these two are young enough that they most likely couldn’t defend a harem from more seasoned competitors, they still are willing to practice future battles with each other. They sparred back and forth for 10 minutes or so with the slightly larger one (left) emerging the victor and poking the smaller one in the butt to chase him off.

Up in Rocky Mountain National Park we saw some more seasoned competitors challenge each other but only from a distance.

Two young elk bulls spar on the shores of Lake Estes, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Two young elk bulls spar on the shores of Lake Estes, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Hey! Watch where you’re pointing that thing!

A bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park takes note of the funny looking guy with a camera. 😉 Truly a handsome animal. Hoping to get back up there this weekend and see them again.

A bull elk takes note of the photographer in Rocky Mountain National Park.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull elk takes note of the photographer in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bull Elk Watches While Eating

“Really? Pictures while I am eating breakfast?” This handsome bull elk was munching on some grass in Rocky Mountain National Park this past Saturday. Without a harem along, he was quite calm and more than willing to pose – even if that meant I was interrupting his meal. 😉

A bull elk watches intently while munching on grass in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull elk watches intently while munching on grass in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

There’s one in every crowd

Getting wildlife to cooperate to get the ‘perfect shot’ is a losing battle.  I was reminded of this lesson while taking pictures of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday.

Colorado’s most popular national park never disappoints with its abundance of scenery and wildlife.  From sprawling mountain landscapes with 14ers to creatures big and small, all can be seen.

On this day I came across a small herd of elk grazing in a meadow.  Staying a safe distance away, I started snapping some pictures and they looked at me curiously.  Well, almost all of them did.

One of the five insisted on looking the opposite direction, never looking my way and preventing me from getting the picture I thought I wanted.  In the end though, I kind of like the image.

It showcases how even in the animal kingdom, there is at least one that just doesn’t get it.  😉

While most of the elk look on with curiosity, one refuses to pay the photographer any attention. (© Tony’s Takes)

While most of the elk look on with curiosity, one refuses to pay the photographer any attention. (© Tony’s Takes)