The header picture above with the river and rainbow? That was taken this fall from the deck of my cabin. Yesterday, Sunday November 13th, I awoke to see a herd of elk crossing the river in the early light. They always cross at the same spot; from left to right they climb the bank right by those two tall aspens with the silvery bark.
I watched with binoculars wondering how much of the herd had already crossed. At any given time there were at least 20 elk in the river. They were moving at a steady pace, taking about half a minute to make the crossing. Then duty called. As my grandpa used to say: “Gotta go count my money!”
When I returned a few minutes later I expected to see an empty river. But the elk were still crossing. Cows and calves and spikes and trophy bulls.
I made a cup of coffee, watching the procession out the kitchen window and then sat down on the couch. They continued their journey and they weren’t lallygagging. It’s the height of hunting season and they know it.
People over-use expressions like “amazing” and “breath taking”. I’ve seen elk cross there many times, (which is pretty amazing in and of itself) but it was becoming apparent that this was the largest herd of elk that I’d ever witnessed. My guess: close to 400 elk.
Of course, like watching a movie, I wanted to see the ending. What was going to happen? Who was bringing up the rear? Straggling cows and calves? Wolves? Elephants and tigers? When I saw the last elk, a ragged bull, I wondered: What’s your story?