We Have ELK!

Last night the decision was made to move our cows.  They are up in our high mountain pasture, which, unfortunately, has a fair amount of larkspur in it.  Tall purple larkspur, while a somewhat attractive wildflower, is also highly toxic to cattle.  It also must taste ok, because they’ll eat it!  The older it is past flowering stage when the leaves start to die, the less poisonous it becomes.

It becomes a challenge:  Does this pasture have less larkspur?  Is this larkspur no longer blooming?  Where’s the grass in comparison?  Can we eat some of this grass before they find the larkspur on the far side of the pasture?  This pasture is smaller, how long can we stay here rather than there?


It’s not fun, and I wish it would just go away!

So, cows out of this pasture… and off to the one across the road.

Dally and I had the big loop to do.  That means around our pine covered ridge and through the aspens and the multitude of springs.  I turned the corner, wind in my face… and smelled elk!  The wind was coming out of the bottom of the big draw, and I knew I’d ride to the edge and see elk grazing below me.

Nope.  Not a one!  I couldn’t believe it and continued to scan the far hillside looking for light brown amongst the pines.

No calls from cows looking for calves, or calves wondering where momma elk went.


I took my little herd and headed up through the aspens.

cattle drive through aspensEvery little bit, a tiny seep of a spring cuts across our path.  Willow used to lunge across every one, sure that the goopy mud was going to suck down the next sorrel horse that crossed.  Brown Horse has no such fear and it’s nice to ride a horse that just steps through the mud!

Brown Horse swiveled his head to the left and…

cow elkWe have ELK!

Come back tomorrow for a video of all the excitement!  Honestly, it is one of the absolutely coolest things about riding on the mountain!


We Have ELK! — 1 Comment

  1. Such a wonderful variety of landscapes there at your ranch. I liked reading about the larkspur problem, and will look forward eagerly, to
    more about the elk!

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