Wednesday was mostly a dreary day and evening was no exception. Willard & I had spent a couple of hours attempting to locate elk and finally spotted a good bull and his harem on a ridge top. I decided to approach them while Willard moved on looking for other opportunities.
I spent about an hour with the bull & his harem as other bulls would approach only to be driven off by the dominate bull. With the poor quality light I was unable to capture any stunning images but the experience was certainly enjoyable. As the evening progressed I noticed movement below me and was pleased to see our friends Buckwheat and Odie approaching. Photographing elk and talking shop is always fun and this was no exception. As the light began to fade Odie headed back down the hill while Buckwheat & I positioned ourselves to capture a few late evening skyline shots.
Unexpectedly the sky began to take on a beautiful hue cloaking the landscape in a garment of magical colors.
Calling Buckwheat's attention to the sunset I suggested that perhaps we could get some silhouettes, Buckwheat's response was "come on"!
Hurriedly we dropped off the hilltop and swung around the elk positioning the dominate bull against the brilliant sky then waiting for the poses worthy of a photograph.
And then this one
With a roaring bugle the dominate bull strode past my position as the 6X6 retreated
In the rapidly fading evening light the dominate bull screamed his defiance at the nearby bulls after successfully defending his little harem.
Carefully traversing the steep landscape in the gathering darkness my mind kept returning to the incredible twenty minutes I had just spent with the elk. The beauty of the stunning sunset, the throaty bugles of the bulls, and a collection of new elk silhouettes; what more could a wildlife photographer want.
I have only one word to describe the evening............PERFECT!