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  • It is quite confusing: what you call ELK here in the US, in German is a HIRSCH. The German Word for ELK is similar: ELCH. But an ELCH is what in the States they call a Moose. The European ELCH - Moose is much smaller tan the American Moose, though. As long as I lived in Germany I never ever spotted an ELCH, which is understandable as they live further north in Sweden, Norway and Finland, I did see a bit of HIRSCHE, though, the American ELK.

    In Spanish it is more confusing, because these are all different kind of simply VENADO, or maybe that makes it easier, well, the ELCH is calles ALCE.

    Here where we are in the Redwoods we are in a cabin called ELK Meadow and really, we just arrived and there they were: a beautiful macho ELK and his troop of females. They are gorgeous but impresse me a tiny Little bit less since I have seen them walk between the parked cars in north Yellowstone National Park and recently, not these big ones, but deer, VENADO, eating from shrubs and crossing the streets from one garden to the one on the opposite side in the very center of beautiful Victoria on the south end of Vancouver Island.

    It was raining last night and we could not do much and suddenly this huge elk bull came by our deck. He did not give us the tiniest attention. Suddenly I heard a strange noise, first it sounded like a bunch of school children and then like a strange machine. No, I learnt: this was another elk bull calling. Our bull stood still, stopped eating gras and disappeared into the forest.

    Last night I did not hear anything else but rain.

    But while sipping our morning coffees our bull came by the deck again. He looked broken, he could hardly walk, he was limping! And behind him came a second bull, also kind of run - down, also limping, but not as badly as the first one.

    There was no roaring or fighting, but the first bull exuded humiliation, he seemed to just want to find a dark place and lick his wounds, but the other one, did not let him disappear, he followed him as if enjoying his triumph and the other´s humiliation....

    I got conscious again of the fact that Mother Nature is no Sweet Pie and the life of an elk bull is far from being a journey to Disneyland!

    Photography by KIKI
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