Running Surprise

Yesterday afternoon Humu and I were running a trail on the outskirts of town. It's a trail we run a lot, and yesterday was a pretty typical day for that trail. Lots of birds, a snake, more birds... then from out of the woods came a giant. A huge elk sauntered casually across the trail, completely unconcerned with our presence.

Wildlife around these parts is a pretty common occurrence. The particular trail we were on seems to always have signs posted by people warning of a bear or cougar in the area. I've seen elk outside of town, from my bike or my car as they're grazing in a field. I was surprised to see one so close to town, and on it's own as they're usually in large groups. I wondered if I was about to run smack into the entire herd. The sub-species of elk we have on the island, Roosevelt elk, is larger than their rocky mountain cousins, and this point is brought home when you are standing in front of one by yourself.

I didn't have my phone or camera with me, so I couldn't
get my own picture. This one is from Wikipedia.
It wasn't easy to find a good pic; when I googled elk images
most of them were dead, with a hunter standing over them.

Luckily Humu was behind me, so I caught her and clipped her leash on before she took off. She REALLY wanted to chase the elk (I never said she was the smartest dog), and holding back a dog who is more than 60 pounds of pure muscle is no easy task! I'm pretty sure that even though elk aren't known as vicious, it wouldn't care for being chased by my dog and Humu would lose that battle. The elk disappeared into the trees, and soon enough Humu was distracted by birds and other smells again.

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