On my way home from the cabin outside of Princeton, I encountered these elk on the side of Mine Hill, also known as Elk Ridge. I have driven this highway dozens of times and never encountered a single elk – but today there was a whole herd there, thundering beside the road. When I got out of my car to take pictures, they ran up the hill – which means I didn’t get very close shots. But still! They were mesmerising, and majestic. I cried from the beauty of them as I continued on my drive in the early fall morning. If you look closely at the photo you can see the bull, of which there is only one per herd. He is surrounded by his “harem” – who he will spend August to December with in order to mate with and protect them. In my photos, I count 24 cow elks, which means that this bull is at peak breeding age – between the ages of 4-8.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen or heard elk – but the I’ve never gotten photos before, nor have I seen a herd this size in such detail!