As a Christian wildlife photographer I continue to be amazed by God’s creation and their Creator. Read about one of my wildlife encounters with a bull elk below.
I glanced over the side of the steep mountain road. In most spots it lacked guardrails, but had a killer view. I made sure to stay away from its edge as I drove in the Colorado high country. When I looked up instead of down, I spotted a small herd of bull elk on a slope. I pulled over, grabbed my camera, and hopped out of the pickup to take advantage of this wildlife photography moment.
Foolishly, I decided to hike up to them across the rocks that dotted the alpine tundra. After all, they stood less than 50 yards away. But my lungs gasped for precious oxygen every few steps up the slope in the thin alpine air. In the meantime the elk seemed to take two or three effortless strides and walked further away from me. I thought to myself, Oh, forget it. I left the elk and hiked down and found some marmots to photograph.
A short time after shooting the marmots, I looked up and saw that the elk had come down from the higher slope. I journeyed to their general area, sat down on a rock, and began to take photographs.
As I waited patiently, one of the big bulls got closer and closer to me as he grazed. Finally, he decided that he was done and plopped his massive body down several yards from me. Wow! This was the first close encounter I’d ever had with a large bull elk. I was amazed.
Afterwards, when I looked at this photo and into the face of this great beast, I thought of a quote by the nineteenth-century French scientist Louis Pasteur: “The more I study nature the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.” I think if Pasteur had encountered such a beast he would have been “amazed.”
There is debate as to whether Pasteur was a Christian or not, but it is clear that he did not believe in Charles Darwin’s evolution. He said of Darwin, “Do not put forward anything that you cannot prove by experimentation.” Like scientists today who go against current scientific thought on issues like global warming and evolution, Pasteur was shunned by the scientific community of his day because he had an idea that went against the flow of his contemporaries.
His radical thought was that life couldn’t come from non-life. Life must come from life. Things like maggots just do not emerge out of rotting flesh. He proved his theory through his experiments, which resulted in what we now call the pasteurization process that proves that life can only come from life. His theory that went against the flow dramatically improved life around the world. Go against the flow and you may be amazed!