Norwegian Wildlife - Muskox from Dovrefjell national park

Doverfjell-Sunndalsfjella national park is situated in middle part of Norway. I dont want to write the information and statistics which can be found on Wikipedia or any other internet page... I will just write what I loved in this place the most.

The thing which I loved the most is Space - amazing open spaces where wind is blowing almost all the time, where You have a feeling that the sky is really low, just above Your head. Dovre is a huge plateau situated above 1000m below sea level. Very cold in winter time, wet and windy during summer. Quite extreme weather conditions most of the year.

In this part I want to show You and tell a little bit about my first meeting with this amazing animals which live there freely and fully natural since ancient times - Muskox ( or musk ox, musk-ox).

I was there during autumn time - windy day with heavy clouds above, during whole day of hiking I met only one traveller and one bigger group of turists heading to the turist shelter near the mountain Snohetta. Firstly I didn't even think to meet these animals, I thought they are quite rare to see and to encounter them in closer distance... I was so wrong that day, so nice surprised!

First time I met a group of females together with youngsters. They were standing just in front of me, in the middle of turist path. I was shocked so I just stop suddenly, than lying on the ground began to crawl forward with the camera in my hand. It was still around 300 meters from the animals.

After some time I felt that the muskox dont even care about my presence - they saw me in the very beginning, in fact I think they saw me even before I saw them. Maybe it is strange but I felt myself quite secure and safe. I feel no threat from their side... after an hour watching them from a bigger distance, I decided to go forward to see them closer and to take some better shots. That day I had a small binoculars with me but unfortunaltelly didn't have a good zoom-lens, just an universal 24-105mm. I could see them closely but I couldnt take close-up photos...

I know I shouldn't be so close in one moment, but in the other hand - I had this strange feeling that they dont fear me and I am not any threat also for them. They were all standing, moving slowly from place to place, lying down, resting, watching at me, then watching on the far horizon...

Something magical was going on that moment, something what I cannot describe - I had a feeling that these animals and the landscapes around them perfectly match each other. Primal animals and raw landscape - like a time travel to past where there was no people in this lands, where animals lived in their natural habitat enjoying every moment of their existance.

I feel really relaxed sitting in front of this majestic creatures. I was around 50 meters from them, sitting on the big stone (just in case ;)) I was calm, I just watch them and really thinking about nothing else... this was the best moment of that day. Maybe it is just my feelings or maybe some others have the same feelings and thoughts watching the animals in their home - that we are just a visitors, that we should try to respect them more than now, that this kind of sights are unique and priceless, worth protection for all costs! Luckily Dovrefjell is a national park area and these creatures lives there not dangered from outside world, only the noisy turists can be the problem... or the photographers who walking to close of them...

These animals just "fit" to these landscapes.

After going next 30 minutes forward I met another group of animals in a distance - this time it was a group of males. I didnt know that when I was there but after coming back home I read some informations about the species behaviour and this was defenitely group of males in different age, stauing in a distance from other groups... The situation here was different. From a first sight I felt that I shouldn't get closer to them. They were all very interested with my presence, they all stand towards me and I felt really uncomfortable. I saw no young animals among them. I decided to take some shots from a far and go around them in different direction.

That day I went as far as the daylight allows me, I catched some nice shots with low, warm, autumnal light and head back to the car. On the way back I met one more group of Muskox but it was already too dark to try shooting, I had to go really fast back to the car as that day I wasn't preapred for night walking. The only source of light was in my cellphone which was in low battery already.

Great day with amazing encounters, with amazing views, magical moments, many thoughts, good shots and extremely hard hiking back in complete dark. Last year I bought myself more powerful zoom-lens 70-300 mm and I am sure I will go back there to spend some more time with these majestic creatures.

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© 2020 by Adrian  Szatewicz / PhotoVisions

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