The local herd of Roosevelt Elk have returned to run amuck around our fields leaving destruction in their wake.
You would never think that this stunning bull and cow would do anything but graze peacefully along with the rest of their herd as they pass through but so far they have ripped limbs from the apple trees, eaten the tops off of the young trees and now that the rainy season is upon us they will tear up the fields with their massive hooves.
But despite all of their faults I am continually in awe of them. The fall brings the cows along with this years young ones and they are never far from their overprotective leader. The moms are extremely skittish and it is quite rare that they allow me to get close enough for decent photos. Today must have been my lucky day *grin*.
We were making breakfast in the kitchen and would have never known that they were silently grazing behind the hedge if we had not seen the massive antlers of the bull rise above the shrubbery!
My oldest son and I crept out the back door as stealthily as we could, across the back lawn, through the hedge to find ourselves crouching behind the tractor while being watched intensely by the bull. I thought it was best to put the tractor between us and the herd because if you have ever seen them go into survival mode you know that you don't want to be out in the open *grin*.
We only had about ten minutes to watch them before something spooked them and they bolted for the corner of the fence that they repeatedly break through and were gone. If you're interested in seeing more photos of them I've got more in my flickr account :)