Thursday, January 7, 2010
One of the benefits of living in the rural West, we had three elk wandering around on the back deck last night eating the last holdovers out of the apple tree. I suspect some would find them a nuisance or worry about the damage they might do to landscaping, but I can't help but feel blessed by their presence. After all, we live in their winter feeding grounds, not the other way around. It was a biting cold night, somewhere in the 12 below range, a clear night with good moonlight--all in all a perfect night to be indoors and admiring some impressive ungulates just a few feet away, even if it was two in the morning. The irony is that we usually don't get such visitors at all, probably because we've had two winters of record snowpack that's made moving in the valley as difficult for them as in the surrounding mountains and thus it is easier to mosy down the road to the refuge where the state of Wyoming benevolently feeds them fresh hay. It's good to see them here in their traditional winter range and a comfort to be reminded of some of the "others" we share this landscape with.