Dee’s Words – Do Elk Play?


Today I was surprised by a spring snow storm.  As I sat drinking my coffee, looking out my windows to the winter like surroundings, I noticed something in the trees.  There was a movement, a flash, that caught my eye.  I kept focused to see what was happening on my little hill.  Then they emerged.  Elk cows, young bucks, and yearlings, jumping around, bouncing with such intense energy that made me wonder what had frightened them.  I was surprised they were elk as the lightness in their bounces and leaps were more the actions of deer. 

As I kept watching, I noticed – they were running under the lower tree branches and hitting them with their heads and antlers, causing the snow that had accumulated in the branches to fall on the next elk behind them.  And then a high energy game of chase would ensue.  They would circle around and knock the snow on yet another.  Then they all would circle up still bouncing with excitement and joy.  They were playing!  This was a wonderful elk snow day!

I love living here for I get to see these amazing creatures almost daily.  I have seen them amble up the hill, slow, powerful, and rugged gait.  I have seen and heard their bugles and then the expectant romantic chase that follows.  I have never seen them bouncing with such excitement and playful energy that they looked like deer.  What a gift!  It was contagious and I wanted to put on my snow clothes and go join them.   That is what play does – invites others to play too!