Keeping with the theme of ungulates and that home away from home they call Yellowstone National Park, I bring you the big boys of the park – the Cervus Canadensis which is sooo big they have two names. Thanks to European settlers we have the moniker of the Elk where are native Americans (according to Wikipedia specifically the Shawnee and Cree) we have “it which has a white rump” or Wapiti. Since the first days of hearing this original name I’ve always associated it with a snapping window shade – do those even still exist? If you recall, when one of them recoiled (typically never when you want it to!) first you will involuntarily twitch as the piece of wood in the bottom goes whipping past you and then your ears are barraged with Wapi Wapi Wapi Wapi as it cycles around the cylinder. Ironically, whenever I get the opportunity to see these creatures I also twitch except in this case it is with excitement. They are fairly docile (at least in Yellowstone) and are great subjects for us wildlife photographers. Here is a younger one that was more than happy to pose for me.
If you haven’t noticed yet (which means you haven’t been looking close enough at about every animal set featured in this blog), I’m partial to the turn back across the body pose. Just my thing I guess, but it is something I set out to do on each outing. Personally I think it quickly distinguishes the prey from the predator.
If you can see the full eye, you should feel a little more at ease since you are not looking at an aggressive animal. I also find that Elk have a tendency to pose which is a self serving description of animals that tend to have an intense curiosity. Case in point.
Hit the jump to see a whole bunch more pictures of Yellowstone Wapiti