Out with Gary Lengyel the other day when we ran into this bachelor group of Bighorn Sheep. Not only did they not mind our presence, a couple of them even approached us – very closely. I suspect they’d been feed by humans before and were looking for a handout. Sorry – I don’t feed wildlife.
The sun was just cresting a ridge, creating some tough lighting, with intense sun on one side and deep shadow on the other side – it took some work in Lightroom to balance things out a little. I am fond of fast primes, but they do sometimes have their limitations (like when the wildlife gets a little too close).
Interestingly, the North American Bighorn population crashed around 1900 and they were on the verge of extinction. In 1939 the Arizona Boy Scouts organized an conservation campaign credited with saving the desert Bighorns.
Males (rams) and females (ewes) do not associate with each other except for the rut, or breeding season, which in the Rocky Mountains usually occurs in November. The rams participate in ritual displays of dominance by ramming each other using their horns (the horns themselves can weigh over 30 pounds) to decide which ram gets mating privileges.
The Bighorn Ram is the State Animal of Colorado.
Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Mt Evans Wilderness Area, CO
Sigma 3 /2.8+1.4TC
Giottos tripod, Acratech ballhead, Wimberley Sidekick
ISO400, 1/1600sec, f/2.8