Friday, September 30, 2011

This is an exciting part of year to be in the Rocky Mountains!  The Elk are in rut and gathering cows into their harems and fighting to protect and keep them until they reach estrus and the mating can occur.  These guys are greedy and it seems the order of the day is the more cows to impregnate the better.  The cows, however, are a bit hard to keep in tow and frequently succumb to the call of the guy next door! And so the challenges and bugling, antler wrestling (sparring) and posturing that takes place in the big meadows are somewhat like a reality show: The Desperate Elk Harem Wives. Great drama and even greater photography!!  This big guy just lost 3 cows to one of the other bulls and is now engaged in bugling as he heads back to make sure the others in his harem are staying in place.

When you get tired of watching the Elk battles, take a ride along Ridge Road and maybe over the pass to Grand Lake for some absolutely gorgeous views and, if you are luck, maybe you will encounter some moose.  Unfortunately the day we went looking for Moose was a bust.  We visited all of the normal habitats several times during the morning ... no Moose but always enthralled by fantastic vistas.  This shot is towards the mountains over a lake, an incredible still lake which results in this clear as glass lake reflection.

 And everywhere you look are these incredible groves of Aspen, glistening in the sun in all of their green, yellow and red splendor.  Blindingly beautiful!!  I lived in Colorado Springs for 6 years and now remember why I always loved the area so much.  By the way, how many trees to you see in the grove above?  Would you believe possibly ONE!  Many of the trees in a grove are from the same root system and all share the same DNA and are all the same tree!!  That is why one rarely sees a single Aspen tree.

Now with thousands of images to process, I had better buckle down to the task!!!  See you next time!

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