Maybe it’s because I’ve always driven by at the wrong time of day, but I had become increasingly concerned that I hadn’t seen any sign of the elk lately and feared that, owing to inevitable budget cuts, the Forest Preserve had decided to abandon the idea of maintaining the herd in Elk Grove Village. It would surely be unthinkable! But you never know, these days. I decided to stop and take a closer look.
I saw plenty of wild flowers including some red things that I think are trillium and some purple things which, as far as I’m concerned, must remain nameless. There were dozens of squirrels running about and a woodpecker was making quite a commotion up in the treetops while a few frogs gently burped in the background. Still no sign of the elk.
I walked up as far as the bridge that spans Higgins Road and then came back, keeping well to the side as some of the cyclists who use the path go speeding past dangerously fast. PLEASE!PEOPLE! Remember that pedestrians use this path too, some with small children. Almost back to the parking lot and still no sign of the elk, but then, just as it seemed like my worst fears may be realized, there they were.
Phew! What a relief! They’re still with us, looking a bit ragged as they shed their winter coats but seemingly healthy. Elk Grove Village just wouldn’t be the same without the elk!
Continuing with the ‘alphabet with a twist’ theme for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, this week’s topic is the letter k. If a word has only three letters and one of them is a k, there’s a pretty good chance that the word might be elk. And what better place to find elk than in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. These majestic creatures are not native to the area but, because of the name association, a small herd of elk are kept in a protected part of Busse Woods Forest Preserve. They are cared for by the Chicago Zoological Society veterinary staff and Busse Woods Forest Preserve wildlife experts.
The original herd of 10 elk was brought in by train from Yellowstone National Park in Montana in 1925 by local resident William Busse. The best time to see them is either early morning or at dusk. They spend a lot of time amongst the trees but when they do come out into the open field they’re a beautiful sight.