This morning a bull elk wandered through our yard along with his harem and a couple of calves. Breakfast was forgotten as I rushed to find my camera. I was so busy trying to get a good photo of the bull that I missed out on the harem as the ‘wives’ wandered out of view. Alas, the best picture included the trash bin, but I managed to get a photo of one of the calves, spotted just like a deer fawn.
Driving home from my morning walk, I saw Bessie and her cousin Elsie grazing near the road. A few days ago, I discovered how fun it was to give unofficial names to the forest plants — so liberating not to be bound by official names. I decided the elk deserved no less.
Here in Ruidoso, New Mexico, a herd of 50 to 60 elk sleep on the Links Golf Course at night. Upon rising, they spread out into the forest to begin their day, often blocking Hull Road. I love seeing them, but I am not usually out driving so early. This morning I was lucky enough to see a few.
I’ve enjoyed my week in the mountains, although it took a few days to adjust to the mountain sounds. Periodically, a strange thud would hit the house. Armageddon? Bear attack? No, it was just the Ponderosa Pine dropping another pinecone on the roof. The dance of the pinecones is definitely a springtime event. I’m not sure how they came to be associated with winter. Perhaps because they make such good kindling in the stove.
The forest floor provides the landscaping for much of the town. However, for those who must garden, the ‘Red Hot Pokers’ are in bloom. The deer won’t eat them.