Read what's been happening on Salvatore's Horizon

Read what's been happening on Salvatore's Horizon
Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine Workshops

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape Part XXIII

Elk Just Want To Have Fun

The final chapter of Yellowstone: The Introspective Landscape.

Considered one of the largest alpine lakes of its size in North America, the serenity and beauty of Yellowstone Lake is internationally known. There is an abundance of flowers along its shore in early summer. By this time, the snow showers have taken a break and the warmth of the sun begins to warm its coves. There is nothing that sooths the wintered weathered mind like photographing the hot springs and flowers along one of the world’s largest and most gorgeous alpine lakes. It was a great day to be alive or at least it seemed so at the time?

This day, the Lupines and Indian Paintbrush blooms caught my eye amongst the steam of the hot springs near the lake’s shoreline. Other people too were caught up with the bloom here as well. Some were closer to the shoreline taking photographs of an Elk Bull in velvet horns. I was not interested in the elk. Elk in velvet images are not that much in demand and I had enough of them in my files for the time being. The flowers and hot springs with a lake backdrop would be a better inclusion for my next Yellowstone calendar. After shooting flowers a good distance above the people and the calmly grazing elk, I threw my camera with tripod over my shoulder then began to head to the shoreline. As I got closer to the water, this elk which was safely beyond the safe zone for elk in rut season started to gallop toward me passing though the tourists that were between us. Immediately, I looked for something to put between me and the elk. First, I ran behind a fire scarred fallen tree. When the elk moved to one side or the other I ran in the opposite direction always staying on the other side much like Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Cops in a silent comedy film. Meanwhile, the other tourists just ran up the hill to their cars. In my mind, I could hear the children shriek and protective parent shout, “Mad Elk! Run For Your Lives Children!”
When I thought the elk was tired of trying to trap me and started to graze, I started to walk away slowly. Again, the elk gave chase this time and drives me down to the shoreline with only enough time to jump off the ledge. I landed on the gravel below with the lake behind me. Now the elk towered over me: His hoofs at eye level. I had no where to go except a cold swim. I was bewildered as to why was this elk behaved like this. Was it sick? This was summer not the rut season when this type of behavior was expected. The elk was also in velvet. This was a time when his horns are too soft and sensitive for impaling snap shooting tourists.
Then it dawned on me. This elk wants to play make believe horn jostling. Yes, this was a playful rut behavior triggered when I placed my extended tripod legs over my shoulder projecting over and behind my head. The elk thought that I too was an elk, a very strange elk indeed! As I now realized this, I did something that an elk in velvet could never do. I slammed my tripod on the ledge above me near the hoofs of the elk. Right then, this once playful elk became a horrified elk as it ran for its life up the hill, past the tourists in their car, over the road and disappeared into the forest. Playtime was over.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Yellowstone: the introspective landscape Part XXII

from the new book on Yellowstone NP-

Chapter 9-Chased by Maidens- ...continued

Knowing these bison are not going to stop until they stomp my little body into dirt, I needed a diversion and soon found one in a group of tourists parked along the road to take pictures of the main herd in the valley. I make a beeline to the group of tourists. The tourists see me coming. They also see the bison coming up from behind me. I’m sure the tourists saying things like, “Hey, honey check out this guy, he’s going to get gored to death! Let’s take a picture of him gored to death.” Now I’m not usually a vindictive person, but these wildlife watchers are in store for some “Wild-Life”!
As I make it to the cars, the intended diversion unfolds as I walk between the cars. My eyes are now focused to the other side of the road and freedom. Behind me are hear gasps and screams. The screams from tourists who are now confronted with the dilemma were they once laughed at my expense. Slams of car doors and metal thumps indicate the tourists have either jumped into them or on top of them. Knowing the bison are now focused on the tourists. I then circle around the cars and return back to my focusing cloth and flowers. Those flower bloom photographs came out just great. I was treated to one of those beautiful purple-pink sunset after-glows later that day. One of them, “Lupines, Lamar Valley” is presented in this book.