Monday, January 10, 2011


As I begin Elk Stories, I must say that Elk behavior is very different in different locations. Here in Arizona, Elk are fiercely hunted. So, typically when I come across one or more they take off running like their life depended on it. In Yellowstone, Jasper, or Banff Elk are protected and can be seen walking through the towns. So, as easy as it can be to photograph Elk in Yellowstone, Jasper, or Banff, I still enjoy finding them in the Wilderness areas of those parks. In the case today, I was driving out Celestine Road in Jasper National Park, Alberta.  This is a 4 x 4 road only, that eventually becomes one way only. How can that be? Well, certain times of the day it is one way out, and other times of the day it is one way back. It is closed at night. It ends up at a trailhead to Celestine Lake. The only time I have ever seen another human out that road was when the other person was driving back during a time when it was one-way out. I was going out. He was coming back. That was very tricky. The road is one way for a reason. We had to both get out of our vehicles and assess the safest way to pass each other. Since he apologized I didn't make a big case out of it. I did ask him to take the route along the edge of the mountain, though. I don't remember whether it was this particular trip or not but along the way I passed this wonderful large Bull Elk lying on the ground:

The temperature was minus something yet he didn't seem to mind at all. And, truth be told, I didn't either. I got out of the truck and walked to get a better angle and a little closer. After a minute or two he got up and gave me several wonderful photos:

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