Friday, April 13, 2012

4/12/12 Elk Viewing Good, Wildflowers Still Good

Wild Geraniums are Peaking, Seek Filtered Light
for Emotional Compositions
Elk viewing remains good.  As the weather warms, viewing times will compress. We are now in a cold snap so viewing times remain in the spring pattern. Mornings extend to 9AM or later if overcast. Evening viewing could start in late afternoon and extends to dark. Weather is everything.

What's next? Elk calving. June is peak month for elk calving. The tiniest calf elk are seldom seen before they are a few weeks old. When calving starts, getting to Boxley Valley at daybreak is key to seeing them. The general rule is cows with newborn calves disappear into the deep cover at the first sign of danger. Remember this, a cow elk with a newborn calf is dangerous. We are a few weeks from seeing the first calf elk, but they need to be given space.

Spring wildflower season is now giving way to summer, just about a month early. The blooms are very heavy but quite early too. In some cases the blooming periods have been compressed presumably because of early hot spells. Rain has been ideal.

Lost Valley and Smith Creek remain wildflower hot spots. I would estimate that there are perhaps two weekends left of good wildflower viewing. This varies widely according to altitude and moisture.

This could be the last weekend to get good dogwood shots. Dogwoods bloomed early this year and petals are dropping now. Possible thunderstorms this weekend could knock the last of the petals off. My guess is that this weekend is safe. Dogwoods in the deep woods will be a bit more protected.

Elk Locations and Wildflower Blooming Dates, Buffalo National River 

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