Last but not least in my look back at my photo year, we come to mammals big and small – with a reptile thrown in for good measure as well. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to photograph so many of the creatures which we share this planet with. Each one is special and each chance to see them thrills me. Enjoy this view of pika, marmots, bison, foxes, bears and so much more!
The big bulls and the little calves usually garner all the attention for Moose Monday so here is one of a beautiful cow just for something different. She and her calf had made their way to the Sheep Lakes area of Rocky Mountain National Park this past September. While her offspring grazed in the grasses nearby, the cow waded into the waters. There, she gorged herself on the various water plants, a favorite of moose.
Well, okay, that is probably better said about me than this big guy but it makes for a good caption for Moose Monday. 😉
Going back to early August in Rocky Mountain National Park. This handsome fellow had made his way inside one of the enclosures put around foliage to protect it from overgrazing by elk. That worked out well for this moose bull as he had a veritable smorgasbord of willows to dine on without any competitors to worry about.
As he alternated between grazing on willows and grass, I captured this cool, head on pose. It definitely looks more dramatic than what it was thanks to the use of a big zoom lens and a healthy distance between him and I.
It was pretty clear what the big boy had on his mind late last month in Rocky Mountain National Park. While the female’s most recent calf grazed nearby, the bull let the cow know he was ready and willing.
It was interesting to watch the interaction between the two although they never did mate in view. The female will likely concede, if not to him, another bull. Then, next spring, she will chase off the current calf, forcing it out into the world on its own. Another generation will then be born and the cycle begins again.
Have a fantastic #MooseMonday!
Pretty poor light and not a great angle but a cute interaction that I figure is worth sharing. The big bull was courting this calf’s mother, staying close to her should she choose to be receptive to his overtures. The calf, no longer all that small, went to great the big boy and they had this cute moment going nose to nose, giving each other an acknowledging sniff.
Whether the pics are great or not, getting outside and spending time with wild animals and witnessing things like this is an incredible privilege and what drives me to be outside as much as possible.
Well, this was quite a scene two weekends ago in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photographing moose is not usually an action packed kind of thing but this was an exception.
Initially, a bull moose in his prime and a cow and calf were hanging out at this pond. All was quiet and calm but then, from the forest, emerged a yearling bull. As the younger one got closer, it was clear the adults were not happy to see it. The older bull went out to greet it but decided to avoid conflict.
Then the yearling got closer to the mama moose and things changed considerably. Ears went back, heads went down and it was clear mama did not like this young intruder being anywhere near her calf. After a brief greeting, mama decided the young one needed to go and launched at the yearling, trying to stomp it – action captured in this image.
With his potential lover upset, the big bull then intervened, chasing the yearling away, temporarily. The situation remained tense for a while with the yearling pushing his luck and the big bull chasing it off again.
It was very cool to see this interaction and showed how mama moose are quick to defend their young – and how you sure would not want to be on the wrong side of her mood!
An absolutely amazing morning yesterday in Rocky Mountain National Park with four moose and tons of drama. Before the action though, was this crazy beautiful scene.
While most folks had their focus on the other three moose, I spotted this yearling bull as he emerged from the forest and began approaching. I had already noted the amazing reflection on the pond from the lit up pine trees on the opposite side of the valley and hoped he would put himself in the right spot. Indeed, he did!
I grabbed a whole series of images of the moose, his reflection and the amazing colors on the pond but think this one I like best.
Have a fantastic, Moose Monday!
A fun encounter with this big boy from this past weekend. This bull has been hanging out within one of the enclosures in Rocky Mountain National Park that have been built to keep the elk out due to their propensity to overgraze. The big guy found his way in and has been enjoying a virtually untouched smorgasbord of foliage all to himself.
He could certainly get out by either jumping the six-foot fence or working his way up the river but for the time being, has opted to stay put. Saturday I really thought he was going to “take the leap” over the fence. His hormones are raging as the rut begins and he was quite agitated, pacing back and forth along the fence line, seeming to contemplate jumping.
He never did, eventually just lying down for a morning nap but before doing so, gave me some pretty good pics to share on this Moose Monday.
Check out this little one! Of course, given that it is now close to six months old it isn’t all that little anymore. As an added bonus though, it was one of a pair of twins I found two weeks ago.
I was initially focused on two bulls that were lounging nearby when I heard a sound from the hill behind me. Cautiously I began climbing and sure enough, mama was bringing her two young ones by.
Wisely, she never let them get entirely out in the open but I did manage a few shots and sometimes having them a bit concealed makes for a cool capture.
A fresh one for Moose Monday taken this past Saturday.
I headed out from camp early in the hopes of finding some of these monstrous creatures of the forest and was not disappointed. This handsome fellow and a smaller bull were lounging in a meadow. They were initially not too inclined to do anything, choosing to just lie around.
After a while I gave up and moved on, hoping to find some action. I did not but when I returned to check on them, the bulls were up and eating with aspen tree leaves being on the menu. The big guy took a break from eating and gave me this cool look through the trees.