The Young and the Vulnerable

2015 is on its last hours.  The sun is retreating for the last time in 2015 making way for a night of celebration as we bring in 2016.  All things considered, I will not miss this year very much and more than relieved to let this year go thanks to a myriad of tough times from family medical discoveries, work stress and the loss of our beloved Kerby.  There were some bright spots like the running production, additions to the bird count and a number of projects I’ve shared throughout the course of the year which will likely be touched up on in my year in review post.  Thought I’d close out this year with a topic I set up from the last post.  Babies!

Pronghorn shot at Yellowstone National Park in May 2013

The Buffalo young carry with them a certain amount of … ummm let’s go with size.  That size gives them a definite advantage in the endless struggle for survival in the wild.  That also means they are surrounded by even larger mothers and fathers capable of inflicting serious paybacks should any predator decide to test their skills.  This is a stark contrast to the life of a Pronghorn.

Pronghorn shot at Yellowstone National Park in May 2013

Hit the jump to see more pictures of the Pronghorn doe and her two cute newborns.

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Hoofing It

I just noticed my WordPress dashboard is indicating I passed a milestone of such.  Apparently a couple of posts ago I hit my 200th blog post.  Seems like yesterday when I started this whole blog thingy, but in reality it’s the middle of the third year.  Yeah, it has been work at times, but it gives me a change to show off some of my photos along with things that happen to catch my attention.  I definitely appreciate you taking the time to peruse my ramblings and offer up comments from time to time.

Apparently, Linda and I have been poisoned by the Par-A-Dice deli tonight.  My money is on the cheese fries, but the jury is still out – well, the stomach jury has definitely provided a verdict.  While waiting for this to pass, I figured a bonus post was in order.  This one will close out the large mammals from the Yellowstone trip last June.  Still trying get caught up in preparation for the upcoming vacation, this should leave me with some bird shots and a collection of water themed snaps that stood out while reviewing the vacation portfolio.  Ironically, Linda and went out on a shoot yesterday and now we have about 10 more blog topics… guess there is really no such thing as catching up.

This is a miscellaneous set and not all tack sharp by any means.  Let’s start with an Elk.

These animals are simply majestic to look at.  Although not the largest rack of the ones spotted on this trip, it was definitely up there based on size and weight.  Not being an expert on antlers, it is hard to tell how mature this one was.  The antlers were still covered with velvet and for all I know still growing.  According to the guide, they can grow 5′ long.  Oh, and they can run 35mph.  They are also called Wapiti which is Shawnee for Pale Deer.  Come for the pictures, leave a little smarter 8^).  Amazingly, these beasts were not bothered by us and generally just focused on grazing.  This buck happened to look over resulting in a perfect pose.

If you caught the previous Bison post, you know there are plenty of them out there.  Another plentiful animal is the Pronghorn.  By the time we got to South Dakota you couldn’t go 5 miles without seeing them off the side of the road.

Not one of my better pictures, but for some reason I didn’t take any other photos of them.  This is a buck per the short black mane.  Contrasting that with the elk, the male pronghorn antlers only reach about 6″ (with a extra 9″ sheath that is shed in the winter).  Although slightly slower than the elk, these guys can run 30mph for 15 miles with bursts up to 70mph making them a tough prey.  Another interesting piece of information is, thanks to conservation, they are more abundant than they were in the 1900s.  By the way, they are part of the antelope family if you were wondering.

Go ahead and hit the jump, there are two other specimens for your viewing pleasure

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