Monday, September 27, 2010

Cervus elaphus roosevelti

Prairie Creek Redwoods Park is home to the largest surviving subspecies of elk: the Roosevelt elk, named after its savior, Teddy Roosevelt.  We pulled up to elk prairie where we found many signs warning us to stay back from these wild animals.  But no elk.

Inside the visitor center we got to see some elusive mammals.

The American beaver
The mountain beaver
A weasel with cobwebs all over its head.
Evelyn has created a hierarchy for our animal sightings. The gold standard is Live in Native Habitat.
15 categories below that, far below Roadkill and Scat, is Dead in Museum. We are not counting Dead in Museum.  Though I am happy to see things Dead in Museum because it gives me a chance of recognizing them when I see them Live in Native Habitat.

It was not at all hard to identify the elk when we did see them.  They are big!
See Clementine in the background leaning out of our friends' car.
This fellow lost an antler.

After seeing elk we went on to a hike recommended by my friend and fellow blogger at West Vista Urban Farm.  It was as fabulous as promised.

And we didn't know it until we returned from our trip, but as we slept that night our GameSpy caught a nocturnal visit from Mephitis mephitis, the striped skunk.

Now that was a mammal day that didn't stink.


patricia said...

What a trip you had! And your mammal list is expanding nicely, even without Dead in Museum contributions.

It's been years since we've camped on the north coast, but those are some of our favorite camping trips ever. So gorgeous. I love the photo of the fallen tree bridged across the river. You don't get a sense of how big it is until you see your kids so tiny, off to the right.

Sitting there looks *almost* as fun as climbing around a goblin forest.

6512 and growing said...

I've been there! I've been there! We lived in Humboldt County for a year and yay! If you're heading South be sure to go to the Arcata Farmers Market on Saturday morning.

Kristin said...

Yeah, you got a chance to see that amazing fern slot canyon. It's so cool that you take the trips when you feel like it, wherever you want. The photos of the elk seem amazingly close. I hope its due to a telephoto lens.

Susan said...

Tricia, the fern canyon was almost as fun as the Goblin Fortress. It was filled with a jumble of trees at perfect angles for climbing. We ranked our hikes for no good reason and fern canyon came out 3rd. But those were three of the best hikes of my life.

Rachel, we're sorry to have missed the farmer's market! We had to blow by Arcata on our way to Crescent City to put my husband on a plane. We regretted we hadn't gotten the flight from Arcata until we found out that the airport there had been closed due to fog for two months.

Kristin, it is a telephoto lens! We stayed in the car and at a respectful distance. I wish it were true that we took trips whenever we felt like it. I'd be going right now even though I still haven't gotten the worked in grime off my hands!