Thursday, July 8, 2021

Rocky Mountain Elk - New Mexico

On the morning of June 29 I got up early from our hotel in White Rock, near Los Alamos, New Mexico, and drove up to Valles Caldera National Preserve to look for elk. We'd been up there the day before, during late morning, and saw none. But we talked to a person in Los Alamos later in the day who told us that elk are everywhere in the Caldera early in the morning. I suggested Judy sleep in, which she was happy to do, and I set off. The suggestion was a good one. Following are photos of some of the elk I saw:
This is the first elk I saw. It was actually in Bandelier NM, before I reached Valles Caldera. It crossed the road in front of me. All of the bulls were in velvet and this one spent time rubbing its antlers on a small tree.

This grouping of elk was also in Bandelier, a short ways after the first elk above. There were some other elk I did not capture in the photo. 

These elk were on the side of the Caldera and then ran onto the Caldera floor after I took a few photos. 

These elk were with a much larger group that I did not get photos of. 

More elk in the Caldera below the road. They were also among a much larger group. 

A single bull. 

The floor of the Caldera was littered with elk. I read that this is the second largest herd of elk in New Mexico.  

This bull was photographed on the way back to the hotel in Bandelier. 

There were quite a few other elk that I did not photograph. I enjoyed seeing this big grouping and also seeing the antlers in velvet. I'm not sure I've seen bull elk in velvet before. 

1 comment:

  1. Such bulky bodies with relatively delicate necks. Your photos really highlight that. (Being able to sleep in was nice.)