Twelve Days of Christmas, National Elk Refuge Style
In March of 2013, my husband and I took a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and we took a tour of the National Elk Refuge. I finally got around to editing those photos, and I realized I had an actual picture of seven swans a-swimming! Well, you know where that had to lead.
Okay, do you have the tune in your head? Here we go!
On a cold day of touring, my husband and I got to see:
12 elk a-lazing, and sometimes a-playing —
Dozens of elk on the refuge.
Really really relaxed.
11 buffleheads swimming —
Buffleheads. The males have large white patches on their heads and the females have small ones. (I count 14 ducks in this picture but they are not all Buffleheads.)
(–and some mallards ditto –)
Mallards in the icy pond.
10 bison grazing (out there on the hills somewhere out of camera range) —
See that dark brown patch inside the oval? Bison! Well, possibly.
9 mounts displaying —
The mounts in the museum ensure that visitors can get an idea of what elk look like, even in summer when they are up in the mountains. (They wouldn’t all fit in one shot.)
8 patient ponies waiting —
It was too warm for sleighs, so the draft horses pulled wagons for our tour.
(And here it is — the moment we’ve all been waiting for–)
7 swans a-swimming —
Count them! Exactly seven swans a-swimming, with a bunch of ducks.
Four of the swans.
Could they be any more photogenic?
6 geese a-gazing —
I love this photo because it looks like the geese are studying the ski lift…
…and then chatting about it.
5 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep ewes.
Rocky Mountain bighorn.
4 Red-winged Blackbirds
3 Black-billed Magpies
A better picture of a magpie, taken a few days later.
2 Barrow’s Goldeneyes
Barrow’s Goldeneye pair.
and a coyote out on the open plain!
I feel so festive I am going to throw in a few bonus pictures!
A pronghorn we saw somewhere in western Wyoming.
And two swans a-strolling!
Trumpeter Swans at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming.