October 2, 2020
As we sat in our picnic spot, we were able to watch the “Them” mentioned by our fellow hikers. Across a small valley to the North sat two groups of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, minding their own business….tolerating us….knowing that they were in no danger from such spindly clumsy beings.
Sightings of these animals can be rare in warmer weather, as they prefer to hit the heights. They weight up to 143 kg (315 pounds) and their horns can weigh up to 14 kg (30 pounds). They can be quite the head bangers during mating season, but typically, the rut starts in November, so all was quite placid on this day, except when one hiker went too close, in our opinion. You could see the herd getting anxious and as soon as he left, they started to shuffle away. In winter, you will often see the sheep on the highways licking the road salt, which can be hazardous to their health, when drivers don’t see them in time.
We took photos from our picnic perch and from the trail both coming and going. The following poem is written from the point of view of the sheep.
Look at them sitting there, for all to see,
on pompous display, just for you and me.
They look amazing, but just a bit strange,
luckily, we are all well out of range.
Pointing their long lenses obtrusively,
I’d head butt them, if it was up to me.
Perhaps if we all simply ignore them,
they’ll just leave, before our butts get too numb.