As we wander the Pennsylvania Wilds it is so apparent that beauty is pretty much all around us. If you view it's beauty from the comfort of your car there's miles and miles of roads that provide snapshots of the wonders that lie just beyond the berms. If you venture down the vast network of trails your efforts will be rewarded more than you would ever dream. One thing I have learned over the years is that if we felt the need to capture images of every landscape that caught our fancy we would be overwhelmed with external hard drives and other digital storage. While it's true that there are many times that we simply can't pass up snapping multiple images of a scene that unfolds in front of us we devote most of our attention to the creatures that live in our forests.
It's mid July and the local elk herd are scattered and difficult to find. The bulls are often gathered in small groups but for the most part far from the cows. The big bulls spend their time eating, and eating more, and eating more again. At this point they are hanging with their bull buddies. Yup, it's just like their best of friends as they feed, often shoulder to shoulder. They eat together, they rest in the shade together and they sleep together. After all they are best buds! This will all change with the start of the rut when they will battle sometimes to the fatal end as they fight for the ladies. At that point the scene will take on a completely different look.
So here we are, July is almost in the history books. What is it about mid summer that makes the local critters different than any other time of the year. Well for one thing the bulls and buck are in velvet and their antlers look amazing at this time. The velvet is fully intact and the tips are rounded and although still growing they are still amazing. Their coats are absolutely flawless at this time of the year. Anyone that has seen an elk when they are transitioning from their cold weather coat to their warm weather coat can attest to the fact that they can look pretty rough. At this point the colors are rich and the texture so smooth. Same goes for the deer and the elk. Mid summer also means that you will be seeing spotted fawns and calves. There just is nothing cuter than a spotted young one running around playing in the fields. They often literally bounce as they chase around playing but always keeping an eye out for their mother so if they need a quick refreshment she is nearby.
Here is just a brief view of some mid summer elk and deer. We are already picking out some main contenders for the fall rut. While we don't want to wish our summer away we can't wait for the fall rut of 2012.
How's this for a nice 9 x 9
Just best of buddies at this point!
I would pay big dollars for a fly swatter!
Okay, You gotta admit, I'm really cute!
I know what you're thinking, I'm just a young buck but someday I'll also be a force to reckon with.