Seeing Spots

There’s something about baby animals, they are almost irresistible. Puppies, kittens, bunnies, elklets – OK, I know they are not called “elklets”, but “elk calf” just doesn’t sound cute enough.

I made a trip over to the Boxley Valley this week. The Buffalo National River runs across the valley and its a wonderful place filled with bluffs and water and open meadows between the mountains. Last week I got a chance to see some adolescent elk play, this time I got a chance to see many young calves with their mothers.

The last half of the summer is the time when you can spot these spotted youngsters. Their coats make them almost invisible in the daylight in the woods, their spots mimicking the way that sunlight falls through the trees. The can lie down in the grass and nearly disappear until the movement of their huge bunny ears give them away. Their mothers stay close by, feeding in groups with other cows. Occasionally a calf pops up from the meadow and takes off on colt-like legs.

On this evening I spotted some brown in the grass – it began to move and I saw ears. Click though the gallery below to see the shots of the young calf in order as it looks for it’s mother.

36 thoughts on “Seeing Spots

  1. Pingback: Black Friday in Boxley Valley | the eff stop

  2. I remember an old art teacher of mine, apeshitcrazy bitch, hated kids to the bone, no good preposition for a teacher, but she said that the adorability of younglings are due to their big heads and big eyes in comparison to their body. Next picture I drew for another teacher, was a blue monkey with a freakishly big head and big eyes and got an A, the one and only ever in any art class. Seemed to have something to it. I Love your pictures and your continuity is a blessing for someone that always struggles to keep a thought in line. Different pictures but a clear, red line. You have a great eye. But from what I have read and seen so far, I don’t need to tell you 😉

  3. I have been watching our ridges fawns getting big – still in spots but fading- still hanging close to mama. Our bucks are chummy and keeping in their little bachelor packs – velvet covering the growng antlers – but it won’t be long before all that comes to an end! Wonderful shots, Lorri

    • Thanks Kathleen, Do you have elk up there? I have noticed our white tail fawns are starting to fade a bit too. Over in Boxley it seems they have several types of groups in the herd – Adolescents mixed, the nursery – lots of moms and calves, the harem – one bull and cows and young (that’s where this pair were), and the bachelors. It’s not at all random. I love the time in velvet, but the rut is the time for great shots.

  4. I think I enjoy your sequential frame by frame posts the most! These are great photos. Your post made me think about human babies and how they seem to be the most vulnerable of all creatures. In the animal kingdom there are spots and babies can walk and run within hours. Babies are totally dependant for a long, long time.

    • Yes – this is an early season calf and he looks pretty robust. I spotted some that were late season that looked and walked more like little fawns. This calf is about half the size of a small adult white tail.

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