Thursday, July 30, 2015

While Construction Continues-Calf Sightings Abound On Dewey Road

Intersection OF New Portion Of Dewey Road -Winslow Hill Road
 On my mid-July trip to Pennsylvania Elk Country, I arrived on Monday , the 13th, to find the new section of Dewey Road completed and open to traffic.  The old portion of the road was still there, but it was closed to the public.  On Tuesday they began re-contouring the area and the old portion of the road slowly vanished.

Old Portion Of Dewey Road Vanishes
The view from the new portion of Dewey Road toward The Saddle and the distant mountains is exceptional.

View From New Portion Of Dewey Road
The photo below is taken looking down the new portion of the road to where it intersects the old portion. The road to the new parking lot is not visible, but is directly to the right of the lower right corner of the photo.

New Dewey Road
I didn't film any bulls at the Gilbert Farm. A large herd of cows and calves were in the area, but it was hard to find them close enough for good photographs or to find situations where there were not unwanted objects in the background, or the fog was too thick.  For example, one morning a herd of cows and calves were feeding along the fence shown in the photo above.  While a bit of fog adds to the atmosphere, it was just too thick in this case for good detail and the combination of short grass in the foreground, and orange netting in the background further complicated the situation.

On Friday morning I found them near the Ponds below where the Gilbert Barn once stood.  This time some of them walked into the edge of the parking lot after I stopped and I got a few frames taken with the 5D MK III and the 70-200mm rested over the window-sill of the SUV.

Calf Grazing

Soon the elk crossed the road and began feeding on the hillside above Rucki Road and I got out of the vehicle and mounted the 5D MK III on the 600mm and alternated between taking still photos and filming with the Panasonic GH4.

Alert Calf
The elk worked across the meadow, slanting toward Rucki road, and heading for the woods in the distance, but they did this very slowly and along the way some interesting action took place.  In one instance a cow and calf touched noses and somewhat later they began nursing.

Touching Noses
 I did not walk into the Saddle one time this trip, and all in all I did not spend a lot of time on Dewey Road , but I did check it out at least once on most mornings and evenings. Even with the new construction this is still one of the more reliable areas for producing up-close elk sightings in Pennsylvania Elk Country.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.