One of our favorite National Parks in the US is Rocky Mountain National Park just outside Estes Park, CO. We love the wildlife activities that we can see there. And if lucky enough, the animals stand still enough to let us photograph them.
Living in Louisiana, we didn’t get to see these critters, in Arkansas, we don’t either. Most folks don’t see these four-footed beasties unless they go to a zoo (boo, hiss) or see them in photos.
At the very top of Old Fall River Rd, near the Alpine Visitors’ Center is a marmot getting ready for winter. These guys live above the tree line above 10,000 feet. Air is a little thin that far up.
Heading down Trail Ridge Road you may see Bighorn Sheep. They are a bit used to people, so might have a look at who is looking at them.
The young ones play at what will be serious when they are older.
If you are the west side of Rocky, near Granby, CO, you will most likely see moose. For some reason they like the west side more than the east.
September and October begin the rutting season for the elk. The males fight for domination. They want to have as many cows in their harems as they can and the stronger bulls get to have larger harems. You can hear them bugling from probably ½ mile away. They are telling their potential mates how strong and desirable they are and telling the other bulls that they had better stay away. The bugling will entice more cows to join his harem.
You can see hundreds of elk down in the meadows of Rocky. It’s a awesome sight. To make themselves larger and more attractive to the does, the buck collects leaves and branches in his antlers to make himself look bigger, then he dips his antlers in urine, often taking a full rollover in the urine. That makes him irresistible to the females. Not sure that would work for human males.
And then this is what you see in the spring.
On most any road into the park, you can be surprised and delighted by the red fox
She might pose for you too. Staring into the eyes of wild critters makes you know that all of you share the same world and every living thing is connected.
Rocky is full of deer, often they can be a nuisance. They will come to your back door and beg for food. They roam the golf courses for nibbles and of a Sunday morning, they come into town to beg from unsuspecting tourists.
Thanks for dropping by for a read.