Website banner with text reading "Website construction: new theme, new stuff. Please come back next Thursday, June 14."

  • Young elk calf nursing on its mother.
  • Young elk calf in our pasture.
  • Two young elk calves sniffing each other's noses.
  • Two young elk calves, both looking at the same thing.
  • Elk calf and mother.
  • Elk calf and mom looking at each other over a fence.
  • Elk cow nose to nose with elk calf.
  • Elk calf and cow.

Elk in our pasture

My wife took these photos of elk in our pasture. The calves are quite young and still have their spots. The spots disappear when they are just a few months old.

Two young elk calves in our pasture looking at Joe Llama.

These young elk are trying to make sense of Joe Llama. Our llamas and the elk graze together when the elk are passing through.

Gordon River Damn, Tasmania

Another amazing shot from Tasmania

This is the Gordon River Dam. It’s in Tasmania, which is an island about 150 miles south of the Australian mainland. It holds a crapload of water, making it the largest lake in Australia. This incredible image was taken by Micnical, a Tasmanian dad and surfer.

Ocean and sky at sunset.

Send us your best nature shot!

Please send us your best nature shot, along with some background information. We’d love to post it here in the nature section. Email it to us!

This is the coast of Oregon near our home, taken by my wife (Toni Johnson) on her iPhone with one hand, while the other was being pulled by a 100 lb dog wanting to run on the beach.

A Roosevelt Elk bull

Bull elk having a snack

This bull is a Roosevelt elk. There’s one bull per herd of cows, but the bulls usually don’t stay with the cows. They will generally be on higher ground, keeping an eye out for trouble. Bulls have a very distinct bugle when they want to call the cows or scare off other bulls.

A herd of 30 elk passes through our  pasture several times a month. They graze next to our llamas, with neither group seeming to notice the other or even care. My wife (Toni Johnson) took this shot with her Nikon.

Anemone at our local Oregon Coast Acquarium

Anemones—Sex Maniacs of the Sea

This anemone lives at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which is about 20 minutes from where we live. (My wife, Toni, snapped this with her iPhone.)

I couldn’t help but wonder if anemones are all one sex, or if there are males and females. That’s when I learned there are not only male and female anemones, but a small number of hermaphrodite anemones as well. I also discovered that anemones have gonads and they are hornier than their majestic little tentacles might lead you to think.

Anemones reproduce both sexually (egg and sperm) and asexually, which would be the human equivalent of creating a child each time you masturbated—a sobering thought if there ever was one.

Anemones that are created with sperm and egg are more diverse and probably hardier because they receive genes from two different parents. Anemones that are created asexually have zero diversity. They are an exact clone of the mother ship. But reproducing asexually is the better option when anemones need to rapidly populate an area because, like masturbation, asexual reproduction requires no partner and no need to shave or shower first.

Sea Lions napping on the pier in Newport

These are some of the sea lion males having a snooze on the docks up at Newport, the next town up from where we live. The local sea lions are all males. They swim down to Northern California at the end of summer for a chance to fight off the prior year’s victorious bulls for a chance to have their own harem of cows. The cows stay in the waters off of Northern California.

The loser males (which means almost all of them) come back to Oregon for the remaining 11 months of the year to live with their fellow loser males—not that the winning bulls in California don’t occasionally long to take a leisurely nap on the pier and not have to put up with the administrative and mating duties that go with having a harem of fifteen cows and their pups.

Two sea lion males laying on the pier with large bulges above their heads.

Notice the bulge on top of their heads?

As for what sea lion cows find sexy in a sea lion bull, it’s the bulge. But unlike the bulge in the front of a human male’s Speedos, it’s the bulge on top of a sea lion’s head that attracts attention. That’s because it’s part of his jaw muscles.  Given how important the jaw is in husking oysters and protecting against predators and unwelcome males, the bulge on top of a sea lion’s head is an indicator of fitness. It’s one of the things that sea lion cows notice.

Alsea Bay, Oregon

The bay at the end of our road

We live on a gravel road on the Alsea Bay. Here’s the bay at sunset. The bridge in the distance is part of US 1o1 that goes into Waldport, our local town. My wife took this shot with her iPhone. There’s zero Photoshopping. This is how it actually looks in summer during high tide.

Newport Bridge, Newport, Oregon

Yaquina Bay Bridge

This is the bridge we take to go to Newport, which is where we get groceries, supplies, gas and see movies. It’s about 20 minutes away. It was completed in 1936, and has a great Art Deco/Goth look. It’s a little more than 3,000 feet long and sits about 250 feet high above the Yaquina Bay in Newport Oregon.

My wife (Toni Johnson) took this with her iPhone.