Sunday, December 17, 2023

The elk are back

Over the past few years, elk have been frequent visitors to our little valley. We noticed they tended to hang around during the cooler months, then migrate higher into the mountains in the summer.

But not this year. Their absence was a bit worrisome. Normally we'd start seeing them around September, but this year ... nothing.

Then day before yesterday, while we were chatting with Younger Daughter via Facebook Messenger at her overseas duty station, Don came into the house and said, "There's a whole herd of elk across the road on Bill's property." (Bill is a neighbor with a large pasture right across from us.)

Immediately I left Don to chat with Younger Daughter while I snatched my camera and went outside. Sure enough! A whole bunch, casually bedded down in the chilly afternoon sunshine.

Suddenly we're seeing them everywhere. I've counted at least 40 in the herd, which is much more than we've ever seen before.

Now it's almost like we can't even glance out the window without seeing at least a few scattered here and there.

When they move as a herd, there are so many I can't get them all in one photo.

They're certainly among the most picturesque of wildlife.

The herd showed up yesterday, once again in Bill's pasture across the road from us.

This freaked out Bill's four horses, which galloped to the other side of the field and then stood, watching warily. I've noticed horses don't care for elk at all.

About this time, something disturbed they elk and they moved en masse out of sight.

I'm glad the elk are back. I've missed them.


  1. The elk in your blog header look like they're saying, "Hey--where are we going?" "I thought YOU knew, Steve!"

  2. How wonderful and right here at Christmas.

  3. Patrice,

    For some reason I no longer have your e-mail address so I'm commenting on you latest WND article regarding Idaho.....EXCELLENT!!!!\

    Best wishes,
    Rich Kozlovich

  4. To a horse, an elk is too Uncanny Valley.
    I know New Mexican cattle don't mind antelope.