We hiked in the Whiterocks River drainage of the southern Uintas yesterday. At noon, the skies were clear blue. Dark clouds gathered in the early afternoon, though. We waited out a short rain/sleet/snow storm, then walked out of the woods (elevation about 10,700 feet) and found a herd of elk lounging at the edge of the meadow.
They were just as surprised as we were. The calves, who had been napping, hastily got to their feet,
and the whole group bunched up and stared at us for a moment before bustling off into the trees. The elk at the far left of the above photo appears to be a bull. Do you agree? He seems to have short spikes for antlers. He would have shed his antlers in late winter. Don't know why he hasn't grown more of a rack by now.The wind was blowing into our faces, so they didn't smell us ahead of time. Daisy smelled them, but she was so busy running around sniffing the abundant scent that she didn't seem to realize where the elk actually were.
We were glad she didn't chase them and spoil our excellent photo op!