Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

http://www.codyenterprise.com

I was on my way to work recently and realized the time had arrived when I would soon be seeing elk in the lower meadow.

It was a cooler day, a welcome relief after several very warm days. As I turned on the private road, my thoughts became reality. It was barely dawn, the sky light enough to see a gigantic herd lounging, foraging and starting their morning movements. I remembered a couple of special mornings like this in years past.

For a few moments I stopped the car, rolled down the window and listened to the sounds, the movements and watched as dozens of elk started running. I could see some of the babies, which were now a few months old, their baby spots gone. The ground shook as they started to run across the road.

I had some presence of mind to take a few photos and a short video. It was pretty magnificent; yet another reminder of the changing times and seasons.

I stayed on the road and watched as they moved along and soon were out of sight. Once they were gone, I went on to work.

But throughout the day, my mind kept wandering to the memory of the morning. It also brought back a couple of memories from previous times on that road where I had the privilege to see some beautiful lone bulls standing majestically and somehow speaking just to me. It’s funny what emotions and feelings memories can suddenly bring forth.

A few days passed, but I kept thinking of that huge herd. My mind kept replaying those few moments. Then, one morning as I was almost to the office, I saw my first bull of the season. He wasn’t alone, but he was standing there in all his glory. He seemed to be fairly content, surrounded by his harem.

Then, the choir started singing. All in the meadow the distinctive sounds of the bugle started. I could hear several choruses echo down the canyon and across the meadows and up on the hill. It was like I was in my own private symphony.

As the dark sky started to lighten, I could see more and more elk. I felt surrounded in the canyon and meadow with wildlife and beauty all around. The bugling intensified. It was like nothing I remember experiencing quite this way before. During the season of the elk, I am privileged to hear the yearly mating call. But on this day, it’s different.

I decided to get out of the car as quietly as possible with the first bull elk still watching me with a certain level of intensity. I accomplished this feat without triggering a significant change in the herd movement. I stood there, looked around and then closed my eyes as the bugling continued.

I didn’t want this time to end, though I knew a change was imminent and inevitable.

So I stood there in my own little world, appreciating how fortunate I was in that time. So many would give anything to see this sight and hear this concert masterpiece.

Later, I knew I had another memory to replay and enjoy.

Editor’s note: Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. The Cody Enterprise, founded by W.F. Buffalo Bill Cody and Col. John Peake in August 1899, celebrated its centennial in 1999. The award-winning newspaper is owned by Sage Publishing Co. of Cody, Wyo. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise (http://www.codyenterprise.com).