Meanwhile, birds are singing and wearing their brightest breeding plumage, gardens are flowering, and hikers are out getting their last taste of the mountain trails before the National Forests shut down because of fire danger. On Upper Pacheco Canyon Road (roughly, straight up the mountain between Rio En Medio and the Ski Basin) there were elk (elk!) the other evening, munching away on the grass at the edge of Vigil Meadows (see Google map). On this side of the mountain, and so low? No, we didn't believe it either, and emailed the Public Lands Information Center. The wildlife officer wrote back, "Yes, they were elk. They move around a lot, can travel as much as 25 miles a day unlike deer which will spend much of their lives within a mile of the place where they were born. Elk are grazers (deer are browsers) and prefer cool, north-facing, heavy-timbered slopes during the day." The red + marks the spot.