Rainy Day Elk

November 7th, 2015 16 Comments

Sometimes—not often—everything comes together just perfectly. (When it does, I attribute it to clean living and good single-malt whisky.)

We had two fine days of cold, grey, and rainy weather. I had to run some errands on one of those days and at the last minute, almost as if the universe had whispered in my ear, I grabbed my camera. Then, on the way home, I took a detour through some hills at the end of the valley and in the fog and rain I found what the universe had been trying to tell me.

Elk 002 (2) (Small)

Elk 068 (2) (Small)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Those are some stunning photographs. I have never seen an elk close-up. I have just seen them in photos.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hello JP,

    what a capital fellow (the elk 😉 ). The little side trip was really worthwile 🙂
    Sometimes our instinct is the best advisor.


  3. Anonymous says:

    No single malt whiskey for me. How about a double malted milk?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I just got back from Alaska where I got to see elk, grizzly and moose. Aren’t animals magnificent? !

  5. Anonymous says:

    JP those are beautiful!! What a graceful animal. I imagine
    This was the highlight of your day.

    Tena French Halifax NSCanada

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi JP,

    To truly appreciate nature, it doesn’t get better than that


  7. Anonymous says:

    The highlight of my elk hunting trip, was the picture of the bull moose I took after I heard a twig snap and found him walking 20 feet away from me. You don’t aways have to pull the trigger to enjoy mother nsture.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ces photos sont magnifiques. Je n’ai pas l’habitude de cette faune et de cette flore !!!! Merci de me faire voyager !!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Great photos. Keep the camera in the car/truck.

  10. Anonymous says:


    Whiskey is the water of Life in “Finnegan’s Wake.”

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s nice to know there is still wildlife in Kern County! 🙂 Tule’s right? Reminds me I need to take some drives up toward’s Idaho City this year and early next year to see the elk herds. Take my old Canon 800mm telephoto F5.6 L “white pro” lens (a large heavy beast of a manual focus lens that was top of the line in the 1980’s with fancy green fluorite crystal lens elements). If I get some would you like some pictures sent your way? Lots of mule dear and antelope up that way as well.

    Happy Trails,

    • That’s a logical guess, but in fact these are Rocky Mountain elk that were brought in by a rancher and horse-breeder (breeder of the Kentucky Derby winner, Swaps) about fifty years ago or more. He had big plans for some private hunting deal, but the first winter a freak rainstorm washed out his fence and his investment in Rocky Mountain elk. The herd has thrived and expanded until they are one of the primary species chased by hunters over on the Tejon Ranch.
      Tule elk are found in the wildlife preserve down in the western part of the southern Joaquin Valley; on Grizzly Island; up north in several locations; and–curiously enough–on the eastern slope of the high Sierras up around Bishop, in the Owens Valley. In fact, Cal-Trans had to build a turn-out to accommodate all the travelers up 395 who wanted to pull over and take photographs.
      But our elk are the Rocky Mountain variety.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the info. I have heard of that Rocky mountain ranch. Say, have you done much hunting or fishing in Idaho yet? If you have and written about it or done a show on it I’d like to know so I can check it out.


      • Anonymous says:

        Interesting about 395. I used to drive from So Cal up to 395 up Reno and beyond to Boise. Haven’t done that drive since ~1990. Used to like to go thru Bishop and points north. Guess I’m way overdue for taking that drive again—my trips since then have been the up in the clouds variety of BOI to SFO/LAX or direct to LAX from BOI. Wondering if there are any of those special wildlife crossing areas on that route now–the ones that keep the wild life over or under the roadway. 😉


  12. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful! I especially like the photo with the “wapiti” cows in the mist/fog in the background. We now have elk in the East again, too–not only the Northeast, but the Southeast, too; some being released(Rocky Mountain subspecies here, too) in the Great Smokies National Park(Eastern Tennessee/Western North Carolina) over a decade ago, and they continue to multiply and are doing well. They were wiped out in the East by the late 1700’s, mostly. Wonderful to have them restored, and to be able to hear those bulls bugling in the mountain forests this time of year! Now if only we can get our “panthers”(cougars) back! Well, they’re on their way, if a few aren’t already here!….L.B.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wildlife…Nature. Love it. It can fill my soul when I gets depleted.

    When at the cabin hunting I enjoy getting out in the woods a good half hour before the sun starts to light up the eastern sky. I love sitting there in the dark with the woods all around me, and then watch and listen to the world come alive all around me as the sun comes up. Fantastic.

    TD Bauer

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