"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Pennsylvania Elk Range

We will miss our annual trip to the Pennsylvania Elk 
Range this year.  I hope you will forgive me for 
reliving past trips. The following is 
from our first trip in 2013...

We were up early on day four, and didn’t waste any
time heading for the elk viewing areas in Benezette.
The road mostly followed creeks and bottom land,
but we could see fog on the mountains.
We encouraged each other with the notion that
Winslow Hill wasn't all "that high".
Alas, when we arrived the viewing area was 
blanketed in fog causing very limited visibility…
It was eerie to stand in the heavy fog, listening to bull elk bugle all
 around us.  Occasionally, a ghost-like figure would emerge briefly
 from the fog and then disappear again just as quickly…

At one point a large bull elk came within 25 yards and bugled as he 
passed by.  Having never experienced anything quite like it before, 
I am sure it was something I will never forget…
Various cows and bulls moved through the fog as the photographers and 
wildlife watchers waited for the fog to burn off…



Suddenly a bull bugled very close to us.  He was chasing a cow that 
was trying to escape his control to join another harem.  When he 
ran after the cow we could hear each hoof beat, and even the 
contents of his stomach sloshing, as he made sharp stops and turns 
to keep her in his herd…

When the fog finally moved off, the elk had moved 
to a nearby hillside to bed down and chew their cuds 
out of the direct heat of  the sun…

Several hours passed before the elk re-emerged into 
the grazing area where many onlookers waited…



Bulls were kept running as they tried to keep their 
harems together and away from other bulls…











It was all just for show.  When the dominant bull pressed the 
subordinate one he just walked off and bugled his frustration...


As the sun began to set, the light on the field changed to a warm 
golden color...





We left soon thereafter to return to the campground for our last 
night in Pennsylvania. 



Friday, September 16, 2016

Fawns and Does

One of the wonders of nature is the birthing season of prey species.  In North America elk, caribou, deer and other species all give birth within a short window of time.  This ensures that predators will not find all of the newborns when they are most vulnerable and that they will arrive when food is plentiful.  
There are exceptions which can be seen in the photographs that follow.

The fawn in this photo was born early in the birthing season.  One can tell because it has lost most of it's spots...



The fawn shown below is still heavily spotted indicating that it was probably born a month later than the first...



This doe has already shed it's summer coat and displays the grey color it will have until next summer...



Another doe has barely started to lose it's summer coat...



Even though fawns are mostly weaned by this time of year the mother will still allow some nursing...



When her second fawn shows up wishing to nurse she walks away forcing them to feed on the alfalfa...



I can imagine the second fawn saying to the first:    "mom always did like you best"...



Thanks for visiting, be well and come back soon. Remember, a photograph not shared is a photograph wasted.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Battlefield Bucks

In spite of looking for wildlife every day last week I had nothing new to post as of Sunday.  I had to run an errand that took me near the Monocacy National Battlefield on Sunday evening and there I found these bucks.
The largest was a nine point that was very tolerant, even tender acting, towards a spike buck...













The nine point was not so kind when this eight point buck approached...





I am glad to see that the bucks are beginning to appear in the open. I will be checking back often for more photo opportunities.

Thanks for visiting, be well and come back soon.

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Glimpse of Antler

I am looking forward to seeing some mature whitetail bucks as fall, and the breeding season, approaches.  This buck was at the Monocacy National Battlefield...



A chickadee...



A double-crested cormorant in the Monocacy River...



Young Wood Ducks

I believe these are only two survivors from the wood duck family that hatched this spring...













Wood ducks are among the most beautiful species even when immature.
Thanks for visiting, and remember, a photograph not shared is a photograph wasted.

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