Elk in the Neighborhood

When hiking locally, I usually move fast and don’t bother taking pictures.  However, one thing I’ve learned is that a clearing snowstorm often makes for striking photography.  So it was just luck, then, that I had a camera on an afternoon hike in upper City Creek Canyon a few days ago when I ran into a large herd of elk who decided to pose for me in a couple of locations.  Actually it was doubly lucky: I was also hiking the wrong ridge, one that contains intense scrub oak, instead of the one I intended, which has a reasonable brush-free route.  Embarrassingly, when I sent a few pictures to my Dad, I mis-identified these animals as mule deer.  This was silly since elk and mule deer don’t look that much alike, and also the piles of grape-sized scat were obviously not from deer.  Even so, I’d never before seen elk around here (generally it’s deer and moose), so these animals were the last thing on my mind.  The pictures turned out well, including a couple that might be worth printing and framing.