Wapiti worries

A young bull elk is seen at Woodring Farm in Benezette.

An afternoon trip to Benezette had this blogger worried that the trip would be a bust. Arriving in the early afternoon, it seemed that the elk also known as wapiti were no where to be seen. However, after the sun starts to fade the massive animals never fail to impress.

A young bull elk was content to sit and enjoy his meal at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Woodring Farm.


An Eastern bluebird at Woodring Farm

Several bluebirds were still hanging around the nesting boxes at the site. They also apparently enjoyed using the informational signs as a restroom.


A bull elk and his harem at the Dent’s Run elk viewing area.

A trip back to the Elk Country Visitor Center revealed several elk alongside the road.


Elk are seen along Winslow Hill Road, Benezette.

Back at the center, elk could be seen on all sides and right as the center was getting ready to close a bull drove his herd into the center’s field. This sent the center’s staff scrambling as they worked to maintain the safety of the visitors and the elk alike. But the bull and his harem stayed put in the field and the visitors maintained their distance.


A bull elk at dusk at the Elk County Visitor Center.

Meanwhile, back in this neck of the woods, a multitude of monarchs descended on the Mexican sunflowers or tithonia plants. While seven is hardly a multitude, it is many more than have been seen in the garden in previous years.


A monarch takes off.


Two monarchs on a Mexican sunflower blossom.

The cedar waxwings enjoyed the fruit of the black gum trees beside the neighbor’s pond.


A cedar waxwing

It also seems like Mother Nature hit the restart button on the fall color. After an early start for some trees, the region’s annual autumn display is expected to peak this weekend.


More yellow is starting to appear among the greens.


Maple leaves are starting to display their colors


Leaves are seen on the neighbor’s pond.


(A Walk in the Woods contains photos from newsroom staffer Anna Applegate’s daily jaunts around her neck of the woods. Tagging along on the treks are dogs, Buford, Sherman and Sadie, and goats, Kyle and Kennedy. Applegate manages the Good Times and can be emailed at bigdogs.thederrick@gmail.com)