There are three things in the photo above that say it’s spring to me. The first thing is the flowers. The second is the change occurring in the elk’s coat from a warmer (longer), lighter-colored, winter coat to a cooler (shorter), darker, summer coat. The third thing is the early-stage growth of antlers.
During the winter season the Point Reyes tule elk shed their antlers. Almost immediately after shedding them they began growing new antlers. Under that velvet skin the antlers are engorged with blood. At this early stage you can easily see evidence of blood-rich tissue. Below is a cropped version of the above photo showing the blood-rich tissue.