Saturday, January 23, 2010

Camera Critter #94

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!

33 comments:

Misty Dawn said...

This is just so awesome! I can't imagine what a rush it was to be photographing something you probably thought you'd never get the chance to photograph.
Good Job, Goatman ;-)

Maria said...

I´ve just seen these in captivity, nice to see a wild one.

Snap said...

Really wonderful! We used to see the mountain goat on rare occasions when we lived in New Mexico. Great shots!

Michael said...

Amazing climbers aren't they. Nice pics.

Martha in PA said...

How cool is that! You were in the right place at the right time!

My CC

Lavender Cottage said...

Great post and nice to see a mountain goat in the wild.

We love Luna said...

ohmigod, what a nice story, this critter is lovely and the white colour make a great contrast with the landscape!
Happy camera Critters
purrs
Luna - We love Luna

Joops said...

At first look, I thought it was a polar bear hehehe. Great shots!

My Camera Critters entry

Teena in Toronto said...

He's quite the climber!

I played too :)

eileeninmd said...

What a cool sighting! I am glad it down fall all the way down. They are amazing critters.

chubskulit said...

I enjoyed the story that goes with the pictures. I've seen many goats over in my country before. I only seen one with my 5 years of stay here in US.

Cute Bird in Maryland is my entry.

Carolyn Ford said...

That's really amazing! I have seen big horn sheep in the Anza Borrego desert doing similar stunts. I can't imagine how they don't kill themselves maneuvering across those rocky slopes. Congratulations on your amazing find!

Hootin' Anni said...

Wow....I would be without words if I saw something like that! [without being in a zoo...y'know?]

My C C is posted below my Photo Hunt Photo. Come see if you have time in your busy day! Happy weekend.

HERE

Manang Kim said...

A white goat??Wow you always have a very good photos to share thank you for that!

CC:Buffalo

Johnny Nutcase said...

that's great you got to see him! they are pretty awesome animals! I saw some a few years ago and thought they were so cool. Great shots !

Your EG Tour Guide said...

What a neat surprise!

Lisa said...

That's amazing! I love the stark contrast of white against the rocks. Beautiful!!

i beati said...

it looks quite at hope there and a little mythological excellent pics

Vicki ~ FL said...

Lucky you....awesome that you got to capture it with your camera so that the rest of us could see.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

How exciting!

Jedediah said...

I would have loved to see them in the wild, your shots are awesome. It always looks so graceful when they just walk along some vertical wall.

Kiki said...

mega -awesome shots! Super captivating!
Kiki~

twobarkingdogs said...

Excellent photos! I saw one of these sheep (goats?) in Colorado once. Thanks for sharing!

Anna said...

That is just awesome! I'm so glad you got to see this visitor and that you shared.

Helena said...

What an amazing experience that must have been for you to see and photograph such a beautiful animal in his own world. Thanks for sharing it with us!

CARMEN said...

Excellent photos!Thanks for sharing it with us!

Ladynred said...

What a wonderful capture of the mountain goat! Great info!

ksdoolittle said...

WOW!! What a neat opportunity. Brings back many buried memories of when I lived and hiked in the Rocky Mtns. as a young adult. Beautiful pictures. The Camera Critters meme IS a great way to share! ~ks

Denise said...

A pretty exciting find. Never seen a mountain goat and hope to put one on my list of firsts one day. Great photos!

Chie Wilks said...

wow..that's a huge goat..i haven't seen that kind yet..hopefully I will...it seemed like the goat was thinking where would be the safest way....awesome!


mine's a bird

Mama Zen said...

Wow! These are fabulous!

leonnybg said...

Cool story and photos. Thank you! Greetings form BG!

Tes said...

Oh my gosh, those shots are good. What a rare sighting! Good capture!