The forests of the north are awash with Elk, there are thousands and thousands of them living in the enormity of this wild and immense landscape. So many in fact, that seeing them is probably one of the most unlikely things that you will experience on a journey in Finland and Russia.
I have spent many hours over the years that I have traveled in the Scandic Countries and Russia walking quietly at dawn or dusk in search of these elusive beasts and most of the time will see only the tracks that they have left. This picture of the spoor of an Elk is so old that moss has grown in it. Occasionally my patience has been rewarded with a fleeting glimpse of Elk bounding off (very quietly for such an enormous animal) into the darkness of the forest. On the island of Torso in Sweden I had an awe-inspiring meeting at that point in the evening just before darkness sets in when an Elk and I bumped into each other and stood eye to eye for what seemed like 10 minutes but was I am sure in fact only a couple, before with a snort he walked off into the forest.
So you can imagine my surprise as I was driving on a busy road near the town of Vos in Norway to see in an agricultural field not two hundred yards away an Elk and her calf munching the grass quite unconcerned with the busy road. I stopped, took some pictures and watched them for a full 15 minutes before the pair ambled off back into the forest-Quite a surreal experience I thought.