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Monday, October 18, 2010

A new method of courtship bugling

I was helping a work crew in a mid-valley garage recently, where we were shifting some mechanical equipment around. The job was going well, when suddenly from outdoors we heard an unusual screech from one of the lifting machines. We went outside to see what the problem was and soon realized that it wasn’t the lift-gate at all, but rather an elk bugling from the adjacent woodlands and quite loud too.

Some friends pulled up for a short visit, and we mentioned the trumpeting elk. They shut down their idling engine, listened for some moments and soon heard the hearkening music; accentuated by aspens quaking in the foreground. We shared pleasant smiles and they shortly went on their way. A bit later, we needed to pick up more equipment, so we began to head out. Within a minute we heard the lively elk bugling again and I suggested to the friend riding in the advantageous shotgun position that he make preparations to shoot a photo.

As the bull elk continued calling, we cautiously pulled closer. Soon we were within thirty yards of the large mammal and our friend appeared ready with the phone-camera clutched in his wrist. However, as we braked to a quiet halt, I saw that I was mistaken: Our friend was not preparing to shoot a picture or video of the lively elk, but was rather involved with an intensive text message. At first I thought that he was jesting; surely it’s not every day you get treated to a majestic elk bugling in such close proximity.

The other two of us, softly cried to him and said, “Okay the joke is up, and you can take some photos of the elk now.” However, he continued with his rigorous personal text messaging. Then we wondered if perhaps we had it backwards. We knew that the friend riding shotgun is an outdoorsy type and perhaps for him fantastic elk bugling is a common occurrence. Still, the episode baffled the other two of us: We hoped the reason he ignored our pleas to capture the simple photo in the enchanted forest was that he was performing a little bugling of his own. If this is the case, we hope that his amour responded in kind to his new-age ritualistic test message. Maybe, for a first date they can share an unbridled nature walk together. If he times it right, he can impress her with our bugling elk.

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