Lesson in Survival

Water is critical to bighorn survival. In early spring of years with good winter rains, they get enough water from the grass they eat to go without drinking. At other times, they must trek to a spring or water-holding depression at least every third day.

Bighorn have extremely acute eyesight, which aids in jumping and gaining footholds in the steep terrain.

Horn size is a symbol of rank in the herd. However, many rams rub off the ends of their horns (called “brooming”) because they interfere with their vision.

This ram was hiding out in the Aztec sandstone cliffs
of southern Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park, just west of Fire Canyon Wash.

December 31, 2010

Comments

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Marcsoltan

Marcsoltan - Jan 5, 2011 11:16 am - Voted 10/10

Lots of good information...

here, Larry.
cheers,
Marc

lcarreau

lcarreau - Jan 5, 2011 3:04 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Lots of good information...

I plead GUILTY to not providing a balanced
mix of humor, personal insight and information to our loyal viewers here on the Big SP.

Hopefully, I'll be able to turn that around in 2011 ... : )

I like Sheep, you like Sheep, we ALL like Sheeeep..

TimB

TimB - Jan 5, 2011 3:43 pm - Voted 10/10

Baaaaaaaaa.

:D

Nice sheep Larry!
We have a few Desert Bighorns around here, but I have never been anywhere near that close to one.

lcarreau

lcarreau - Jan 5, 2011 4:28 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Baaaaaaaaa.

Thanks, Tim. Let the SHEEP jokes begin !!!



During the rut, the bighorn rams snort loudly. The lambs bleat, and the ewes respond with a guttural “ba-aa”.., immediately before lighting up a cigarette.

: )

TimB

TimB - Jan 5, 2011 4:43 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Baaaaaaaaa.

'Idaho-where the men are men and the sheep are nervous'.
Of course, you can substitute 'Montana' or 'Wyoming' for Idaho depending upon who you want to tease!

lcarreau

lcarreau - Jan 5, 2011 5:18 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Baaaaaaaaa.

Actually, this sheep didn't seem to be nervous. It looked liked it was calmly waiting for something.

This was in Nevada. Hmmmm..



Supposing it had spent the previous night
(or, possibly two nights?) on the Vegas strip ???

merrill

merrill - Jan 13, 2011 8:07 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Baaaaaaaaa.

I've always heard it: "Montana, where men walk tall and the sheep run scared." And I guess you could use any of several states.

lcarreau

lcarreau - Jan 13, 2011 9:06 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Baaaaaaaaa.

Yeah, but I'm NOT going to do that.. because
I was always told to turn the other CHEEK.

You don't have to be a Rocket Scientist to
conclude how fast the sheep run HERE in
my home state of Arizona, for crying out loud !!! : )

Actually, ONLY a proctologist would be able to completely understand such things ..

lcarreau

lcarreau - Jan 6, 2011 9:47 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Congrats....

Hey Steve - THANKS for stopping by!

According to the "range distribution" map,
YOU have Bighorns as permanent residents in
your neck of the woods.

But, YOURS are subject to die-offs related to severe winter weather and pneumonia, WHILE
the ones here in AZ and Nevada are probably
more prone to be affected by mountain lions
and lack of water.

imontop

imontop - Jan 6, 2011 10:14 am - Voted 10/10

Nice one Larry!

Awesome picture man!

lcarreau

lcarreau - Jan 6, 2011 11:35 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice one Larry!

Thanks, Eric!

I had been "sal·i·vat·ing" over shots of
elk, moose and goats taken by SP-members
living in northern Utah, and I figured I
should jump on the bandwagon and follow a
few SHEEP around.

Sarah Simon

Sarah Simon - Jan 6, 2011 11:17 am - Voted 10/10

What a capture, Larry

Nice one! -Sarah

lcarreau

lcarreau - Jan 6, 2011 11:53 am - Hasn't voted

Re: What a capture, Larry

Thanks, Sarah!

lol ... excuse me, but I just got done
watching the new video POSTED on your profile page.

Just a suggestion, but you might want to jot
down the "Valley of Fire State Park" on your
wish list, and check it out the next time
you visit the Las Vegas area.

Lots of nerdy tourists love to break through
the boundaries of their comfort zones, and
gawk at sheep, rocks, and fascinating lizards. : )

EricChu

EricChu - Jan 7, 2011 5:15 pm - Voted 10/10

Great!

Larry, this is superb!
Cheers,
Eric

lcarreau

lcarreau - Jan 7, 2011 7:43 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great!

I know, but I didn't want my ego to become
over-inflated..

Tonight I'll be counting my blessings,
instead of SHEEP. Thanks, Eric! : )

Charles

Charles - Jan 9, 2011 11:11 am - Voted 10/10

Interesting description

particularly about rubbing off the horns - sort of retro-Darwinism - big helps group survival, but only up to a point.

lcarreau

lcarreau - Jan 9, 2011 6:52 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Interesting description

Excellent point, Charles! BIGGER is not
always BETTER in the natural world.

"Bighorn sheep are heavy-horned and often broom (breaking the tips of the horns off to help vision). It is very difficult to find an old ram that reaches anywhere near 40 inches long after the loss of the lamb tips from brooming."

Hotfeet

Hotfeet - Jan 9, 2011 11:45 pm - Voted 10/10

Great Photo!

I think that is a fantastic shot. As usual you have another great photo.

lcarreau

lcarreau - Jan 10, 2011 8:24 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Great Photo!

Thanks, HF!

I got some time off during the Holidays,
and couldn't pass up this shot in the
Valley of Fire, just 55 mi. NE of Vegas.

rpc

rpc - Jan 12, 2011 1:16 am - Voted 10/10

Beautiful

Nice one Larry.

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