Small Footsteps


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There is, perhaps, nothing so incredible for a parent than to see their little one take their first footsteps. And, perhaps, there is nothing so incredible for the little one as taking that first footstep into the world and the adventures that lie ahead of them.

In Yellowstone National Park, during the month of June, this tiny vignette is repeated across the park every day by all manner of creatures, from the smallest to the largest inhabitants. Mothers everywhere watch their young find their feet, gather them up, and stand for the first time. From there it quickly progresses to walking, running and then keeping up with their parents.

This particular photo to me is exceptionally poignant. Taken extremely early in the day, it is a small moment in a baby elk calf’s life… he is clearly so proud, so happy and so eager to climb the mountainside to see what wonders await him at the top. His mother, meanwhile, just looked up from her grazing to carefully and proudly watch her youngster, exactly in the manner that all mothers carefully and proudly watch their young depart on their first adventure. It matters not who you are, for all parents experience that moment and it reinforces how wonderful, how incredible and how awesome our world is. Proud footsteps!

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