In the dark and cold as I start the long climb through the cliffs and snow a thought flashes across my mind. I wonder whatever became of the mountain goat with the gnarled horn, draped across her left eye with the black dagger tip pressed against her check. I have looked for her each winter but have not found her for four years now. I imagine she has died.

I spy fresh cougar tracks in the snow and follow them up the ridge. Thoughts of the goat fade like frost in the morning sun. I reach a high peak and spot a goat standing there, staring at me. Then I see the gnarled horn draped across her face. I sit on a rock to wait for the sun to crest the towering peaks to the east. She lays down in the snow. We watch each other.

When the sun finally rises I start slowly toward my favorite mountain goat. She gets up and moves toward me. We stop 50 feet apart. I take photos for an hour and she moves down icy snow covered cliffs and disappears into the void. Sometimes the magic happens.

Lone Peak Wilderness Area, Utah, USA.

Canon EOS 50D, 500 f/4 w/1.4tc, 1/100, f/16, ISO 100, Tripod, Raw.

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mountain goat, utah, wilderness, winter, kent keller, ungulate, mammal

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  • Corri Gryting Gutzman
    Corri Gryting ...over 3 years ago

    Great capture!

  • Thanks Corri!

    – Kent Keller

  • Corri Gryting Gutzman
    Corri Gryting ...over 3 years ago

    PS: What lens do you use?

  • I added that info alittle late. This was taken with a 500 f/4 with a 1.4tc.

    – Kent Keller

  • sarnia2
    sarnia2over 3 years ago

  • Thanks very much!

    – Kent Keller

  • Ruth Lambert
    Ruth Lambertover 3 years ago

  • Thanks very much for the feature!!!

    – Kent Keller

  • icesrun
    icesrunover 3 years ago

    What a wonderful capture and story. Just fabulous to have found it again.

  • Thanks very much!

    – Kent Keller

  • rodeorose
    rodeoroseover 3 years ago

    Truly magic Kent- such a beautiful read too…love this picture so much- has such a poignant feel about Nature’s truth to it.

  • Thank you Rose.

    – Kent Keller

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesover 3 years ago

    Excellent photography!

    1 Day 14 Nov 2010

  • Thank you very much.

    – Kent Keller

  • shortshooter-Al
    shortshooter-Alover 3 years ago

    A beautiful capture and an amazing story Kent. A fav for me Mate.

  • Thanks so much Al!

    – Kent Keller

  • Alison Finch
    Alison Finchover 3 years ago

    Lone Peak Wilderness? It sounds magical, but dear Kent – you make the magic happen through your lens.

  • Thanks Alison…You are very kind!

    – Kent Keller

  • Miles Glynn
    Miles Glynnover 3 years ago

    Tremendous story and image. Just wonderful. Well done!

  • Thanks very much Miles!

    – Kent Keller

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