Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scent on the wind

Scent on the wind (1of2)

A bull tule elk taking in the smells in the air -- as you may have expected, his nose took him right to a female. From our hike out the Tomales Point Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore. This is the same bull as in a previous post, who was the dominant male in the first group of elk that we found along the trail. While he was certainly a fine specimen, he did not appear to be the biggest or have the largest set of antlers out of all of the bulls we saw that day, but he must have made up for it with his fighting skills. It was interesting to see the dynamics of the herds we saw, as there was always one large male within the main harem and typically a smaller group consisting of what must have been the losing males hanging out on the outskirts. They were usually within eyesight, but never venturing close enough to warrant attention from the big guy (at least at this time of year).

While this shot is similar to the first (minus how I framed the image), what I really liked about it is how you can see how symmetric his rack really is. Definitely not something I would want to tangle with.
Scent on the wind

After sniffing the air for a while, he followed his nose right to this relaxing cow, who was not all that happy to see him and quickly got up after this shot was taken, and strolled down the hillside.
Scent on the wind (2of2)


  1. Great work, Pat. That was a productive trip. I love that top shot of the bull.

  2. Wow!

    These are amazing. Love the first one. So much detail in the fur. I think it would make an excellent large print.

  3. Thanks, John! It was a really productive trip -- we saw multiple herds in the reserve, and each provided quite a few photographic opportunities.

    Thanks, Mac! I really liked their coats as well. In the summer, they have a much shorter look in a darker color -- but this scruffy blond look is so pretty under the overcast light.