What a great photo op
What a great photo op
Today’s post was going to be on the great flowers I found the other day. But an even better photo op happened.
We have seen a desert bighorn sheep here before. Usually way far away, and with a spotting scope, or binoculars. Our friend Mike spotted one last year. But Friday evening was different. Al and I left the kids home and went for our sunset stroll. Al is always looking at the ground, trying to find rocks, or not fall over something. Me, I’m looking up, down, all around, trying to find cool stuff. And on the horizon line, I spotted a desert bighorn sheep. Of course, I didn’t have my big lens, so the photos I took were horrible.
The next morning we decided to go and look for him. And we got super lucky.
There he was, in all his glory.
And boy was he curious about us. Then to our great surprise, three more appeared on the ridge. They all 4 came down the mountain a little bit and started going across it.
And yep, they were all boys.
One of them was much bigger, and the three younger ones were definitely taking their cues from him. They would watch him, and follow where he went. We think it was a dad, and two generations of sons.
We followed when they went over the ridge, and pretty soon, there was the curious big guy again. Probably wondering…What the hell??
We hiked all the way around, and to the top of the mountain. Al went around the other side to see if they were there. And they were. He flushed them out and they all came towards me and my camera. They stopped about 25 yards from me. I have to say, I was a little worried that they big guy was going to try and charge me. He was giving me the stink eye. But all four of them just hung around, posed, and I’m sure wondered about us.
This was the youngest, and smallest one.
I took 343 photos, but narrowed it down to 15 for this post. Aren’t you glad?
Big daddy giving me his classic bighorn sheep pose.
The smallest one actually laid down.
Such beautiful animals, and obviously very healthy. I was a bit hesitant to post all these photos in case someone from Arizona googles, and finds them. I would hate for these guys to fall prey to hunters.
I like the old time filter on these two photos.
We did try to find them again yesterday morning, but no luck. We hiked all over and up and down, not one. Who knows where they go?!
I’m just glad we got to see them, even just one time.
These are absolutely stunning! Boy, you sure did get lucky! They are really fabulous!! I have been meaning to ask you Mary…do you ever have issues with snakes in your rv or around the dogs?
No snakes in the RV, I’m not sure how they would get in. I am pretty watchful when I am out with the dogs. I keep Torrey leashed if she won’t stay close, just so she doesn’t stick her nose in one. In 3 years I have seen 1 snake, and it was some little benign variety.
Oh Mary, I just can’t decide which of your photos are the most intriguing, the sunsets, the flowers or the animals….YOU had a rare and lucky shot to see these magnificent beasts not just once but twice! And the close-ups! Having the right lens is imperative. I have never seen such animals….not even in our zoos. It must have been almost eery to not have the noise pollution of the city, but to only hear their footsteps, maybe a grunt or two, or the knock of their horns against the rocks or each other…..Thank you for this amazing journey!
It is a perfect moment to be able to observe them in the wild like that.
Great shots and those are some impressive horns. Have a marvellous Monday.
Best wishes Molly
How did you get them to pose so well. Did saying smile and say cheese work, or what words get them to look. What beautiful creatures.
LOL…I didn’t say a thing. I think they just knew, and were very profesional.
they are great! and they even posed for your cam, so we all can enjoy the beauty of this guys :o)
I was so glad they posed for me.
These are incredible Mary! Wow!
My sister and I saw several big horn sheep in Banff when were hiking. Most amazing experience. I bet you were just dying seeing them all like that. Incredible photos.
It was pretty exciting. All I could think was, I hope all these photos turn out.
Man the opportunity of a life time and you were there and ready for it. Great shooting! How many people who’ve been there have had the skill, patients, or just luck to get shots like yours? Was this mountain near your camp site or had you hiked a bit before seeing them? If you see them today, tell them to stick around. We’ll be out there this Saturday. Great post Mary.
We looked for them yesterday, but no luck. If we see them before we leave I will tell them to hang out. We had to hike to get there, but it was worth it.
they’re really marvelous! beautiful shots!!
Mary, you took my breath away. Seriously. These photos are amazing, and if you had a photo album online of all 343 pictures, I’d look at every single one. My daughter and I are wondering how your photos aren’t being featured in magazines (no joking). I would have been a bit nervous, too, when they came so close, but I think they could probably sense you weren’t a threat. I love how they gave you those classic poses – how cool! The close-up of the Big Guy looking straight down at you is spectacular. I’d say that the desert is giving you its best and saying, “It’s not ‘goodbye’ in two weeks, it’s just ‘see you later’!”
Ya, I think the desert is bidding me a short good bye. The animals, the birds, the flowers, it’s all been very nice.
fantastic photos. We saw some head butting while at Lake Mead one year. You could hear the pounding sound as they head butted. We took pictures but with a very awful camera. After getting our film developed you could hardly tell what they were. Glad you were well equipped for this sighting. Wonder what the dogs would have thought.
What a great experience, love the photos!
You were so lucky to have these guys all to yourself. At Lake Mead (Nevada) they come down from the mountains through people’s back yards and down to a local park, where they graze and sit in the sun. You can get to about 5 feet from them before they move, they are pretty used to people around. I was able to get shots one day but nothing as magnificent as these. In your photos, you can really see the difference in the young one’s horn. His face also looks a lot younger. Great job!
I was amazed at how curious these guys were, and not skittish. It was a great opportunity.
The photos that loaded were amazing so glad you got to see them so close. I bet they were looking for food. It could be on my end but many of the photos didn’t load or took a really long time, just wanted you to know. Love Dolly
It is always fun finding these beautiful creatures. Your photos are so gorgeous! I love the close ups of those magnificent horns. Don’t you love how they pose for the pictures. They really are curious. I am glad you shared so many photos, there are never too many:) We have had many encounters with them this past year. The big horn in Glacier NP are huge and so fat compared to the desert big horn. Then our best experience was the herd of about 25 that came down off the hill as we were driving a back road around Lake Mead. That was a once in life time experience to be surrounded by them. We also had a family follow us (I think we were following them) the whole way down a trail to the Colorado River in Lake Mead. I guess we were all going for water:)
Wonderful shots, but I am pretty convinced your whole life is one big fabulous photo op!
Wonderful shots of those mountain goats.
Wow, fantastic! Great shots and each more stunning than the next. When these encounters happen to me I get so excited it’s hard for me to hold the camera steady. Congrats on running into these handsome guys and having them pose so nicely for you :-)
Wow! Amazing shots!! Just like National Geographic! I’d have been worried if I got the stink eye from that big one too!
wow. You were lucky running into them again. Lovely photos.
OMG. AMAZING. I have to buy a summer cottage just to have the perfect environment to hang them!!!
Oh wow!! They are totally neat!! I saw a pair of Bald Eagles the other day and I thought, Wow!! It’s so much cooler seeing them in the wild than at the zoo.
Oh wow! they are freaky scary looking! They look like a herd of Aries the Rams!!! BOL!
Wow, they are magnificent! And what wonderful photos you got….I’m so glad you shared them with us.
What magnificent animals and what a beautiful job photographing them. I will never get over the beauty of where you live. Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing!