We were given perfect weather for a photography outing, a partly sunny day, according to forecast sources. Well-prepared and arrived at the meeting location on time, I was first astonished at the quantity of Elk in the field. I certainly have not seen so many elks in such a short distance in my life. Prior to this, we would cheer at our discovery if an elk was spotted along the highway at the edge of a tree forecast with the spread of an open field. Hunters raise their fear. They need an open field to gaze and a forest behind to protect.
|Jewel Meadows Wildlife Refuge
I am not exactly a wildlife photographer. When I mention wildlife, I mostly refer to Birds and only a few tamed animals when the opportunity comes and I am not alone. Deer are everywhere in my neighborhood. Some people love them, but in my mind, they are the primary criminals who are responsible for the lives of my flowers and plants. I however take fawn pictures because they are cute and innocent.
Elk is not common in the residential areas and therefore, becomes an interesting photo subject. But my goodness, there are hundreds and hundreds, right in front of me. I have to make myself believe that it is real.
Elk and deer are related, but Elk are much larger than deer, twice or more. As big as they are, they appear to be tamed animal species. Interestingly enough, I found male (bull) and female (cow) herds separately except that young bulls seem to stay with the mother before they fully grow up. From what I observed, males seem to be a bit hostile to each other and have a fighting nature maybe. Females at the same time, seem to be calm and peaceful. See how they stand and partake of the food together.
Hours into elk watching, we had our lunch at Camp 18, a restaurant and museum for antique logging equipment and tools. The restaurant was decorated with cast iron logging tools and accessories. Nice ambiance. And I was glad that the elk burger is not on the menu!
I have a hard time thinking about how male antlers end up in Asian herb stores.
As we planned to go to Astoria for the weekend, we departed from the group and headed north. A short weekend trip like this one is my golden opportunity to take some pictures. I am not adventurous enough to drive long distances by myself. When my husband said, he liked to take back roads for a more scenic drive, I was thrilled.
“When you see something, just yell and I will stop.” I have a world-class chauffeur as you know. Just because he is too nice, I sometimes suppressed my desire not to ask him to pull over too often. But, when I came across this scene just a few miles away from Astoria, I was out of breath and I screamed recklessly. It was still early in the morning and fog was still floating above the water. I wish I could use my tripod and stay there for a while, but there was ongoing traffic in both directions and I could only take a few snapshots. The image is the original shot, no spice is added. This is how natural and beautiful Oregon is and that’s how I want to share it.
I first knew Astoria from watching the movie ‘Kindergarten Cop’ by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie has a heartwarming story and I have since admired the scenery of the place. When we pulled into town, the distinguished Astoria-Megler Bridge across the Columbia River is up there, lofty and magnificent.
The Columbia River is the longest river (1243 miles) in North America. I learned that from school. And now I am standing by the river and reckoning how wide is the river and how long is this bridge. The bridge is 6545 meters long, a bit more than 4 miles. It is almost impossible to see the end of the bridge from where I stand.
The evening was drawing near and sunset light had dramatized the beautiful beach area. When I noticed the sunset, I was outside the hotel balcony, which is a couple of miles away from the bridge. Besides, the temperature had gone down to the low 30s at this point.
The sunset bridge is so dramatically stunning and gorgeous. I found it irresistible. Putting on my jacket, I was out of the hotel walking toward the bridge. I did not plan to shoot this sunset and was not sure when exactly the sun would completely go down, so I took a couple of shots at several stops along the way until there were almost no barriers between the bridge and where I stood. It is AS IS as you see, Astoria bridge at sunset.
A small wish was fulfilled after I decided to take the steps to walk towards the bridge despite the chill. I smiled at myself from the heart. Just up a notch, just a little bit of extra steps, just make your mind and JUST DO IT.
I thought I was fully prepared for this weekend shot. But, I surely cannot cover the unexpected. In the midst of shooting, my memory card became inaccessible. Last part of the images I took cannot be recorded and I could not download my elk images from my camera either… I finally got help to get these elk images out in the open and conclude a wonderful weekend.