This past Saturday we headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park to view the changing aspen trees and the annual elk rut, aka the elk breeding season. We took Cari, our roommate for the past month, along with us for her first visit to the park. Cari’s family are longtime friends with Kim’s family, and we are happy to welcome her for her two month stay in Denver. She is a pharmacy student at Ohio Northern, and is participating in an internship-like program. Her next adventure will take her to Kenya! I’ll have to encourage her to start a blog about her time there.
Anyway, I wanted to introduce the stranger that is in a few of these pictures. Though the park isn’t particularly known for it’s aspen groves, we were able to find a few bright gold spots, especially on our hike to the top of Deer Mountain. However the main reason I wanted to go to the park was to see the elk in their mating season. Before we even saw them, we could hear them loud and clear. The males have a very distinct call, which is known as bugling. Often, you can catch the males fighting with one another, using their antlers to show who is boss. We only caught a brief physical encounter between males, and it was at quite a distance, but you could feel the tension in the air. The females, however, could have cared less about the males and just continued feeding in the large fields.