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Photographer's Note

Resting Elk
Trail Ridge Road
Rocky Mountain National Park

A bull elk (or wapiti) resting in the cool air above the tree line on trail ridge. On our way up to our hike in the morning I passed this group of elk ... then I stopped for another large group of bulls that ended up next to us as I was looking for a place to park (see a couple images back) .. well when we returned from our hike later in the afternoon all the bulls were still resting up here .. they hadn't moved .. so I went for the fellows I had skipped in the morning .. This big guy was sitting a bit away from his pals .. a hundred meters off the road .. seemingly unconcerned about the group of us stalking him with our cameras ..
I got pretty close (maybe a bit closer than I should have ..) this is at 28 mm on my Olympus which would be 56 mm at 35 mm equivalent.

The Never Summer Mountains that dominate the West side of the park are in the background.

ruthlessly pasted from some of my previous posts:
Trail Ridge road is one of the premier attractions of RMNP. Eight miles of the road are above 11,000 feet (3,353 meters) in elevation. One of the most stunning drives I ever experienced.

One of the most common animals in Rocky Mountain National Park is the North American Elk or Wapiti ... The elk were hunted to near extinction in the area then reintroduced in 1913. By the time of their reintroduction most of their natural predators had also been hunted to extinction and the elk have now almost taken over .. the population in Rocky Mountain National Park ranges from 1,000-3,000 depending on the season.

These are pretty large animals they can range up to 1100 pounds (495 kg) and five feet at the shoulder.
http://www.nps.gov/romo/naturescience/elk.htm

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Additional Photos by John McLaird (jmcl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2514 W: 131 N: 4070] (14535)
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