Elk Poop Across the Road

elk scat

Maybe I can sell this stuff on eBay

You probably thought I was kidding. But when I walked across the road to get some pictures of the clouds, this is what I found, and there was plenty more. For some reason I didn’t put down a coin or anything else to judge the measurements here. That means you can say it isn’t elk poop if you like, but I’ve seen plenty of what had to be the stuff and this sure qualifies. Doesn’t mean I’m right, but what else have you got? Mule deer??

The reason this would be of interest is that where I took the photo can’t be more than 100 yards from the house. The animals must be sneaking down to the acequia to drink, their usual water sources dried up in the drought. There’s nothing in the way, no houses or fences, just the usual sagebrush, piñon, and juniper. Piece o’ cake, this operation. They probably show up early in the morning, which means I’ll never see them.

In the early months of this adventure, we lived in San Cristobal, a mountain village partway up the base of Lobo Peak a little north of Taos. (Our experiences there are chronicled in my first book.) We’d see elk grazing in a field just up the valley and hear the bulls bugling in the fall. One pitch-dark winter night we came home from a movie in town to find almost a foot of fresh snow on the winding gravel road with big flakes coming down. All at once, as our headlights reflected off the windows of the adobe cottage, a dozen elk ran thundering across our path! Not 10 feet away I’m telling you, while the glittering cloud of snow their hooves threw up flashed wildly in the high beams. It was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.

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