…well into the second 5 year mission!

Yo Mama

The weather began to clear midday today, so I grabbed my camera and headed for the Death Canyon trailhead.  I found it wall to wall parked cars.  It was WAY too busy for me, so I left, planning to drive up through the Park and relax – somewhere.

I wound up at String Lake.  I made my way to the lake shore and was relaxing on a rock in the woods.  Elk were on the far shore, a bit north of me.  I heard splashing, and noticed an elk moving into the lake.  Behind her, a calf tentatively began to follow.

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_2

Then, it turned back, regained the west shore, and began bleating.  Mama continued across.

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_4

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_6

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_7

Occasionally she would turn back and call her calf.  Damn kids never listen…

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_9

She continued across, reaching the east shore perhaps 150 feet north of me.

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_10

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_14

Baby was still on the far shore.

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_15

She then moved south through the woods near the lake edge, heading straight for me.  When she was perhaps 60 feet away, I decided I really needed to let her know I was there.  I began talking to her.  She kept coming, browsing on the way, looking at me occasionally.  I stood up when she was looking, to be more visible.  No deterrent – she kept coming, until she was perhaps 15 feet from me, as she passed me.

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_16

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_17

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_19

Soon she was out of sight.  I settled down.

About 40 minutes after she entered the lake, the calf was really making noise, calling for Mama.  Mama began answering – north of me.  She had moved back north without me seeing or hearing a thing.  The two exchanged calls back and forth for about 5 minutes, then the baby finally started across.

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_20

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_21

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_22

Reunited – after more than 3/4 of an hour apart.

First thing the calf did was to nurse – but only for a few seconds.  Seeking comfort and reassurance, I’m sure.

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_24

They then moved up the bank into the woods.

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_25

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_27

I never thought Mama would come close again, not with her baby, but she did.  The two came past about 25 feet from me.  Sorry, no pics of the calf – too much underbrush, but it was right behind Mama.

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_28

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_32

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_33

After passing me, they continued south about 150 feet together, then recrossed the lake.

Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_34 Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_36 Tetons elk and calf 2015-08-09_38

Nice afternoon.

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3 responses

  1. What an experience to watch. Great photos!

    Like

    August 10, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    • Joan

      Sometimes, tough love, i.e., leaving the kid on the opposite shore, is the only way to get the message across! 😉 A nice afternoon, indeed!

      Like

      August 11, 2015 at 1:17 pm

  2. Tanya

    Amazing!

    Like

    August 23, 2015 at 1:41 am

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