Posted by: danwellsphoto | August 17, 2012

Of Elk, Fog and Many Things

I have been away from the blog for a little while, largely due to my father visiting Point Reyes for a few days – a lot of fun, but hardly conducive to updates… I have two updates for the next day or two, though. This first one includes Tule Elk, quite a bit of fog, and the ever-alluring McClure’s Beach in yet ANOTHER mood (it would be possible to do a photo book on that place alone, using only two or three compositions and letting the water do almost all of the work.)

These Tule Elk images come from a foggy day out on the Tomales Point Trail – look especially for  dominance battles between two younger males (I haven’t yet seen the big bulls get into a dominance struggle, although they certainly do). So far, the big boys just stay out of the fights and bugle from a distance, and no younger bull is dumb enough to challenge them. As of right now, these are testosterone-fueled adolescent idiot elk (if they were human, they’d be driving much too fast on curvy roads and jumping off cliffs into not enough water)… As the breeding season advances, the big bulls will also get involved in dominance struggles – there are more big prime bulls than potential harems, so they’ll eventually have to challenge each other. Another thing to look for with the elk is some positively paleolithic-appearing images. Humans’ relationship with the deer family goes well back into the Stone Age, and they figure prominently in everything from cave paintings to Medieval horn dances. I think that several of the foggier images, especially the ones of the elk up on the ridge, evoke this long relationship…

The other themes in here are a bit of a grab-bag, including a few of the lighthouse, including closeups of the Fresnel lens,, a few (as previously mentioned) from McClure’s, and a number of images that are as close at is possible to get to photographing the concept of fog… There are also several images from the historic Pierce Point Ranch, one of Point Reyes’ more interesting cultural sites. While the land is now elk reserve, and the buildings maintained by the National Park Service as a historic site, until fairly recently, this was a working ranch – the last ranch out on the end of Tomales Point, the ranch most isolated from towns and other services. There was even a small schoolhouse for the ranch hands’ kids, as Point Reyes and Inverness were simply too far to go.

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