Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cool things I see when my camera is at home - Part 2

How frustrating to always see cool stuff and not have a camera on your person.

The other day while Nathan and I were up feeding pigs, I glanced to the west and saw a head bobbing along the horizon. In a few moments he came into view - silouetted in full profile against the morning sky. It was a ram.

Neither Nathan nor myself have ever seen these elusive Barbary sheep, also known as aoudad, (though they are really caprids, a type of goat-antelope) that live along the canyon edges - Jake and Steve saw them on a hike, Lloyd and Allison see them on evening scooter rides, Jerry has tracked them through the snow - but they have always been on that list of things I have never seen.

The ram was beautiful; he had smooth arched horns and a tawny colored coat that was shaggy at the throat and belly. He we very calm and walked right over the ridge towards us. He knew that we were watching him and he would turn his head to look at us. He even let us follow him until we came over a ridge and spooked him; then he bolted up the hill.

Barbary sheep are not native to Oregon. They can be found at an exotic game ranch nearby. Even though they are introduced species and we do see the impact of the Barbary's near the canyon edges, I couldn't help but be amazed at the beauty and confidence of this ram. What a wonderful experience to get to see him up close and personal instead of up on a cliff wall far in the distance.

Some day I will have my camera with me and have a nice photo of my own, but until then at least you will know what he looked like:


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