Tuesday, September 3, 2013

NATURE NOTES - Mother Elk and Baby Crossing River

August 26th, 2013 at 9:45 a.m.  

We leave our hotel in West Yellowstone and drive the short distance to the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park.  We have now driven 4,774 miles since leaving home on our road trip.

We have seen many wonderful sights in the park and seeing three elk crossing the shallow part of a river was one of them.  There was mother elk and two young ones.  I wasn't sure of the family dynamics but I thought that the three were mother and her 'toddler' elk, with the second being an older offspring.

We came across them at 10.00 a.m.  Mother elk wanted to cross the the river.  She went first while the baby waited.  Every step of the way she seemed on alert, warily looking in each direction.  Once she had crossed, the baby followed her.  When her baby was safely across, the third followed them and they disappeared into the trees.   This is the sequence of events that I tried to capture in my photos.

You can see quite clearly that she has been fitted with a radio collar. Her children had not.

She stopped.....

looked around....

and continued wading the shallow water.

One of the baby's ears seemed to be pointed in the direction of its mother.

Mother is almost on the other side but she is still listening for any sign of danger.

Baby gets the signal to cross.....

and follows.

Safely over....

and now it is time for the other young elk to cross.

Brilliant, Nature at its best!

I am linking with Michelle's Nature Notes which you will find here.  Thank you for hosting this lovely meme Michelle.