There is nothing quite like an ear-pereicing bugle to roll across a brisk fall day!
If you haven’t heard this unique sound in nature, you owe it to yourself to find a way to be in a place where you can hear it. There is nothing in all of nature like it. It is impossible to describe with words and even this photograph cannot even come close to hearing the sound in person. You just have to hear it for yourself!
I came across this bull because I first heard him bugling. I was just on my way for a walk, barely out the door, when I heard a bugle. Knowing the area well, I followed the sound and located this bull feeding in a meadow with two cows. It was mid-afternoon on a rainy day but the clouds opened up a little bit and some rays of warm sunlight washed over the scene. It looked magical.
Eventually, this bull had enough food in his stomach and he wandered into the woods and laid down to chew his cud. I know enough about wildlife photography to know that spending time with subject is imperative. Time, lots of time, is required to completely document and photograph these majestic mammals. In this case, for example, I could have left after the bull wandered out of the warm sunlight washing over the meadow and moved into the much darker woods where many small trees obstructed most clear views of this bull. Move on or stick with him? I chose to stick with him. And this is the photograph I eventually captured. I am very glad I stayed with him!
This is what the fall elk rut is all about. Bulls get themselves into a frenzy hoping to mate a cow. They scratch their antlers on the ground, bugle and make all kinds of sounds, attack trees with their large antlers, and much more! They have one thing on their mind: breeding a cow.
This bull is chasing behind a cow hoping she will be ready to breed. She obviously is not ready as she is running away, which is only more frustrating for the bull. Typically, when a bull follows behind a cow unsuccessfully, he will stop and bugle. This is absolutely the right time to have the camera ready to fire!
In this photograph the bull is behind the cow and appears to be disappointed that she is leaving. This same scenario repeats itself over and over and over. The fall rut is full of repeated actions, some predictable and some unpredictable. But it is always a show worth watching and observing!
This week I had the privilege of being on a spiritual retreat where I was able to relax and enjoy a slower than usual pace. I also had the opportunity to photograph some beautiful swans that were on the retreat property.
Here are some of the photographs that I captured today.
There’s a change in the air. Do you feel it?
Clint Black sings a song with this title, “A Change in the Air” and some of the lyrics go like this:
There’s something strange about the early fall
It’s a comfort leaving me with out a care
But everything around me hears the call
And tonight I feel a change in the air”
There is this kind of feeling in the air tonight. Fall is coming and this is absolutely my most favorite time of year.
Dick McCreight and I are getting ready for our September version of our PA Elk Photo Experience where the rut will be on and the bulls will be fighting for dominance. I can’t wait! The photo I posted today was captured last year in the fall. I think it depicts convincingly well just why I like this time of year!