Here’s the latest from the road! I shot this saturday evening, just before dark. I had long been looking to forward to bringing my parents thru the Canadian Rockies one fall, Jasper National Park in particular. I knew they’d love watching the elk in rut, hearing the bugles and feeling the energy of the place. We had an awesome day, and visited Maligne Lake where we hiked out for a mile or so along the shore, and enjoyed some quiet of the forest and nearby mountains, before walking back and having lunch down the road by Medicine Lake. A quick run into town for a milk shake, some email and shopping (my mother is a certified shopaholic) and we were back out in the park looking for elk. just before dark we found this bull and his harem. I grabbed my camera and tried to get some slow shutter speed images, blurring the motion of the elk as they moved about. I was really hoping I’d got this series right when it happened, as the bull looked awesome through the viewfinder. After dinner this evening, I browsed through the images from today and was glad to see this was pretty close to what I was hoping for. A nice bull elk image, conveying the frenetic energy of the rut, and the intensity of the great animals.
Photographing elk is an addiction, I’m the first to admit. The rut is so different to other ungulates because of the setting (majestic mountains ranges such as the Rockies), the crisp fall air, fall colors, and the bugling. That bugling is such an amazing sound. my mum asked my why the elk bulls bugle, and I wasn’t sure. Some say it’s an expression of dominance, a challenge to other bulls, or a call to females. It could well be an expression of the sheer exuberance of being alive and a part of this incredible experience. I think if I could bugle like that as the mist settles down on the pine forest in the Canadian Rockies, I probably would too!