Sunday, February 10, 2008

Elk Country?

As we were getting ready for church this morning, the dogs began barking wildly and we looked out to see what their problem was. To our surprise, we found an elk standing at the end of our driveway, staring the dogs down. He was huge. In the local culture, this was a trophy animal.

Our neighbors have been on this street for thirty years and they've never seen any elk here before, let alone a massive, majestic creature like this one.

One of his legs was clearly injured, though it didn't seem to be a serious injury. He just needed a few minutes to compose himself and rest a bit, apparently, and he chose our little neighborhood to do it.

The dogs' reactions varied. Drake the Valiant, who loves to chase deer and has never shown any fear of man or beast, sat quietly up by the house. He had no interest in chasing this "deer." Artie, our housemate's old Golden Retriever (who is mostly deaf and going blind), was curious, but not overly brave. Izzy, our housemate's highly intelligent Australian Shepherd, was trying to herd it off the property and was frustrated that it didn't seem to be frightened of her livestock tactics. Fudge the Wonderpup was foolishly ready to take the beast on and barked ferociously. We had to keep calling him off and then he would bark from a distance. The elk looked fairly amused by the big-talking youngster with the stubby legs and roly-poly body.

Rachel and I walked to within easy photo range (way too close, probably, but the elk showed no interest in moving and didn't appear agitated) and snapped off some pictures while we kept the dogs away.

Needless to say, we were a little late to church.



Mister Ed T said...

An experience you won't forget! Glad you got it on camra and posted it for us. Uncle Ed
P.S. It was worth being late for church for it!

CML_Shearings said...

Sherry, Louis & I had a whole herd of mule deer (including 3 bucks) pass in front of our car on Hidden Valley Road on our way to church. We wondered if something had chased them from the hills that morning. Now your bull elk only reinforces that opinion.

Eagle-eye Di said...

Wow what a sight to see in Dad's yard.You took a beautiful picture of it.