By the end of Montana's long winter, wildlife has been pushed to the brink of survival. It's nature's way of ensuring that only the strongest survive, preserving the delicate balance in an unforgiving environment.
Elk generally migrate away from the high mountains where they spend their summers, seeking gentler winter range less apt to be buried by snow. Bulls are the last to leave the wilderness, and weakened after the rut they don't always make it. I watched this elk for more than a month, living on a small island of open ground surrounded by miles and miles of winter. By the middle of March, the toughest time for animals dependent on grass, he was a rack of bones and I expected him to succumb any day. But these animals are nothing if not tough, and miraculously I believe he made it, the spring thaw coming just in time. Here, he nuzzles his flank at sunset, the sky behind him a beautiful blend of alpenglow and snow.
This is available in a number of sizes, both as a fine print and ready-to-hang aluminum art. Each piece is signed and numbered.