The national parks are feeling quieter in terms of visitors this week, but the local elk are anything but quiet this time of year. The rut, or mating season, of elk is beginning and will last for the next few weeks.
The bugling call of a large bull elk is one of the wildest sounds in nature and will make the hair stand on end of even the most seasoned elk observer. The bulls become focused on fighting with other males and pursuing females to the point that they eat very little this time of year and may lose up to 200 pounds. During last night’s astronomy program we observed Jupiter, many summer constellations, three distinct meteorites (shooting stars), and several satellites including the space shuttle.