Sometime in early December, a strange visitor arrived in a canyon near here. For weeks I had been hearing about the visitor. Finally, I got the chance to go see this visitor for myself.
A couple of days ago, a friend of mine and I took off for the Dry River Canyon, located about 15 miles east of Bend, Oregon. When we arrived, we scanned the north side of the canyon walls for the visitor and saw nothing out of the ordinary.
Thinking our position didn't offer a good vantage point, we were just starting to move to another spot when the visitor appeared. Yes, there was the Rocky Mountain Goat everyone had been talking about. He wandered about the rocky outcrops and cliffs sides of the canyon wall, sometimes taking his time, at other times, moving like he was glued to the ground on every step.
At one point, he approached a small drop-off, stopped for a second, then took the plunge.
After the landing, the goat continued its trek along a thin outcrop in the rocks
As the trek continued, the goat would stop, taste the local cuisine, then move on, until it finally hit the end of the path it was on.
It stopped and looked down. Then looked to the left, the right, up, up to the left, up to the right, then back down again. It continued looking in different directions and watching him from the opposite side, we could tell there was a decision process going on in the mind of the goat. So, we watched through the viewfinder of our cameras, waiting for the goat to take the great leap.
But in the end, it turned around and traveled back the way it came.
Overall, it was a good day. The nearest populations of Rocky Mountain Goats are in the Elkhorn Mountain area, 120 miles northwest and the Strawberry Mountains, 100 miles further east. This long ranging goat will probably move on soon, but it was really great to see a critter like this in the wild, in an area easily accessible.
Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is a great way to see critters of all types. Go to the Meme homepage here and check out more entries. Then join the fun and let the world see your critters!