The promised 6" of snow never materialized in Estes Park...we were truly disappointed. I bet all those campers who fled yesterday are too. The camp host walked around telling everyone we might get as much as 16" and all the fishermen hitched up their waders and got out of here. But as we drove up into the park this morning we did see this tiny bit of snow. It looked as if God had sifted confectioners sugar out among the trees.
Of course up on the peaks He must have sifted a lot harder for a lot longer!
I promise you this is not a statue. It's rutting season for the elk, and if you don't know what rutting season is I'm not explaining! The male elks gather up a herd of females and for a couple of months they stand guard over their harem. They make the most amazing sound, called bugling, as they declare their territory and keep their women in line. This one stood perfectly still for the longest time as all of us gawkers took pictures, almost as if he knew what we were doing and he was posing.
Just a little farther down in the meadow I spied a long horn sheep making his way down the mountain. I've never spotted one like that before so I was thrilled. They have tiny little hooves and seem almost to be dancing around and over the rocks as they make their way. They have to cross the highway to get to the mudflats in the meadow below.
And once they reach their goal they eat the mud. That's right I said eat the mud. There are minerals in the mud that are necessary for their health. This sheep is just a young one and his horns are still very small.
We did stand out in a snow flurry to take his picture and I nearly froze to death! We made a quick stop in town and I bought a really, really warm North Face hat with ear covers. It will be perfect for sitting out in the wind to watch the animals.....both here and on the football field when we go to watch my son's games.