More Sheep

Do you remember the elation I felt about my first encounter with one of our local Bighorn Sheep this past summer? Multiply that excitement by sixty, and you will be able to relate to my sheer sense of delight about a more recent event.

Erinnerst Du Dich noch über mein Hochgefühl, als ich im vergangenen Sommer das erste Mal eines unserer hiesigen Dickhornschafe sah? Multipliziere diese Begeisterung mal sechzig, dann kannst Du Dir meine Euphorie über ein Ereignis neueren Datums ausmalen.

As has been the case repeatedly in the past, once that long-awaited, sought-for first meeting with an elusive animal takes place, similar rendezvous tend to happen more easily—the Gordian Knot having finally been severed. Consequently, when I crossed paths not only with one Bighorn Sheep, but with an entire herd on a sunny Saturday in mid-February, I wasn’t overly surprised. Which doesn’t meant that I wasn’t utterly enchanted.

Wie ich bereits öfter erfuhr, gibt es eine Tendenz, daß gewisse Tiere, die sich anfänglich nur nach langem Suchen blicken ließen, plötzlich öfter zu sehen sind, nachdem der Gordische Knoten endlich durchschnitten ist. Folglich war ich nicht allzu überrascht, als ich an einem sonnigen Samstag Mitte Februar nicht nur einem einzigen Dickhornschaf begegnete, sondern einer ganzen Herde. Was nicht bedeutet, daß ich nicht völlig aus dem Häuschen war.

The rams and ewes of this mixed flock were licking salt off a street, in addition to sunning and grazing on a hillside on the beautiful grounds of Glen Eyrie, the same location of my previous solitary tête-à-tête. Fortunately only in a figurative sense, otherwise my noggin would have been badly hurting, despite my reputation of being hardheaded 😊.

Die Böcke und Auen dieser gemischten Schar leckten Salz von einer Straße, grasten und sonnten sich an einem Hügel auf dem wunderschönen Grundstück von Glen Eyrie, eben dem Ort, wo auch mein vorheriges Kopf-an-Kopf Treffen stattfand. Glücklicherweise nur im übertragenen Sinne, denn sonst hätte meine Birne gebrummt, trotz meines Rufes, dickköpfig zu sein 😊.

To enlarge a photo, click on it.

Um ein Photo zu vergrößern, bitte daran klicken.

52 thoughts on “More Sheep

  1. We’ve also had the unexpected pleasure of coming across a bunch of Bighorns greedily licking salt from the road surface. Not the most picturesque of settings, but the animals were so magnificent that it didn’t matter one bit. Thank you for reigniting the memory!

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  2. That phenomenon you mentioned — suddenly encountering “X” everywhere is one I first noticed with words, and then began to experience with flowers. Whatever the explanation, I’m so glad you got to see this group. The photos are wonderful.

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    • Thank you, Linda. I know I’m not alone in experiencing this phenomenon. One fellow blogger talked of “portals opening,” another of increased awareness. I think it might be a combination of both, but whatever is responsible, I’m grateful for it.

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  3. Happy re-encounter to you. The Wikipedia article on bighorn sheep says this: “Sheep originally crossed to North America over the Bering Land Bridge from Siberia; the population in North America peaked in the millions, and the bighorn sheep entered into the mythology of Native Americans. By 1900, the population had crashed to several thousand, due to diseases introduced through European livestock and overhunting.”

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    • Thank you, Steve. It certainly was a very happy re-encounter.
      It comes as no surprise to learn about the decline in Bighorn Sheep numbers after the “settlement” of North America. The introduced diseases nobody foresaw, but the indiscriminate killing (similar to what happened to beaver and bison, and countless other species) was avoidable. We are a species that is horrible at looking ahead and mitigating the effects of our presence and actions.

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  4. What a magnificent animal! Your portrait of him is glorious. I kept enjoying the way he took up his space so proudly~you really captured his essence. (I’m saying “he”…)

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    • Thank you, Melissa. The sheep with the big horns are definitely hes. The females’ horns are shorter and straighter, and they are smaller overall (I think the three licking salt on the street are female).

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      • Oh, ok, that was my assumption but then I questioned myself on it. I hope the road crews are aware that animals are licking the salt when they consider what formula to use. I think they put some pretty bad stuff in what gets spread on our streets. Some towns use beet juice, tho, which would surely not be harmful 🙂

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  5. I also think that once experienced many things start to present themselves in greater numbers. It may be coincidence or just that we are suddenly more aware. That said, bighorn sheep are hard to miss I would think. Glad that you got to see so many.

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  6. What an exciting encounter! I thoroughly enjoyed your description, and can imagine just how you felt. You must have been walking on air for the rest of the day.

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    • Thank you, Donna. I find them fascinating, too, and feel so fortunate to have re-discovered them, and to have been able to watch them from a closer vantage point. I still kept a safe distance and made sure they didn’t feel threatened, and the fact that not one of them changed its position because of my presence was a good indicator.
      There is a good chance you will see Bighorn Sheep in CO this fall!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Das war bestimmt eine Gänsehautbegegnung (wenn das jetzt auch etwas widersprüchlich klingen mag ;-). Wie schön und was für tolle Bilder dir gelungen sind. Es ist doch immer schön, wenn Wildtiere Zutrauen fassen! LG und weitere tolle Begegnungen ohne Kopfschmerzen 🙂 Almuth

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