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DSC_0101I took advantage of the start of the off season in between winter skiing tourists and summer park-visiting tourists to drive out on the National Elk Refuge and look for bighorn sheep. With our weather alternating between spring and snow, it was a bit chilly, but still nice. Apologies for the picture-heaviness of this post.DSC_0034I found sheep pretty quickly. DSC_0038These guys were playing on the rocks. DSC_0039It made me wish I had a longer lens for my camera. And also some of their energy.DSC_0041I zoomed in on this one on my computer.DSC_0041 - Version 2Sorry for the quality, but look how that sheep is straddling the rocks. These two are pretty young.DSC_0052Then they started playing on the slope. DSC_0064Just for reference, Mr. Gecko calls this a “steep incline”. DSC_0065They seemed to like it, though.DSC_0095Most of the sheep I saw were ewes and last year’s babies, but I did see this guy hanging out around the next bend in the road.DSC_0102The sheep were not concerned with traffic. DSC_0109The delivery truck, though, had things to do. (I blurred out the logo.) The driver went around the tourists from Wisconsin (the license plate has been blurred, too), returned to the right side of the road, and drove slowly by after the sheep had moved.DSC_0111The sheep were not bothered enough to get all the way off the road, though.DSC_0113As a side note, stopping on the road to take pictures is not allowed on this road. There are regular pullouts for stopping. This made me chuckle, though, especially since I could hear the passenger making kissy noises to get the ewe’s attention.DSC_0115This population of bighorn is being monitored using radio collars on some of the sheep. Because of the geography and development in their range, there is concern that the population is isolated and not genetically diverse.DSC_0079Both ewes and rams have horns, but the ewes’ horns are short and skinny. This thick coat will shed out soon.

DSC_0092Though I was looking for sheep, I did get pictures of other animals.DSC_0126Pronghorn now make me think of nice weather, since that is the only time we see them. DSC_0083