First Fruits of Fall

I’ve lived in Colorado for 32 years now, and since I’ve been old enough to notice such things, I recall we always have one freak snowstorm in September, then it’s back to sunny, warm, colorful days. This year the first snowfall came on Friday night. It was no surprise–doppler does ruin some things–except to your lungs, skin, and nose. Nothing else in the world smells or feels like fresh snow.

Then, as if a cozy day indoors wasn’t yummy enough, look who we found sneaking around the front yard:

Of course, his shy ways didn’t deter us from following him to get a better look. His harem skedaddled but we got this shot of the handsome six-point hunk trying to look inconspicuous:

I don’t know much, but I know I love this creature. We haven’t had elk in our yard in years. They used to be visit almost daily, it got so you had to think twice before you let the dog out, lest they get spooked and territorial. When the roads and houses being built up the street put an end to their visits, I experienced a surprisingly deep sadness. So I hope more than a little that they’ll get used to the neighborhood again now that the construction is over. They seem to be comfy in town, where you’re always stopping to let them cross the road. This seven-point dude below has quite the fan club in town–note the clothesline tangled in his right antlers. He and his harem stop traffic downtown a few times a day, and he’s been known to charge cars if you get too close (someone always does). I saw him on my way home from church, and joined the throngs of photogs on the roadside.

I love how relaxed everyone is with Big Daddy on patrol!

Every living thing has a certain gravity all its own. I got to cozy up to a friend’s horse yesterday, and though we’d never met before, I fell instantly in love with Athena. She’s got good, solid energy, and like most horses, great gravity. There’s something about a big four-legged beast that makes me feel all is right with the world. And something about standing next to one brings up a poem in the heart–one without words, even–it’s more something you feel, between a lump in the throat and a thrill in your heart. What is it? Maybe I’ll find words for it soon. In the meantime, I hope the elk keep coming back to visit. Till then, here’s a video to give you the full effect of a herd by a stream:

Happy Autumn!

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2 Responses to First Fruits of Fall

  1. Tom Krauss says:

    Nice words, and nice photos to go with them! Thanks so much for sharing. I almost want to use the elk / snow / golden aspen picture for a Christmas card! Beautiful. You Evergreen folks are spoiled :-).

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