August 13, 2016 Twin Lakes, Colorado

Big Horn Ram
Big Horn Ram

At Long Last, A Little Wildlife

Big Horn Ram
Big Horn Ram

Sunday afternoon, and though I usually don’t stray too far from camp on weekends, choosing not to battle the summer hordes, I got a little bored late in the day and grabbed my gear and drove just a couple miles south to see what might be up the Clear Creek Canyon Road. I had actually debated with myself whether to bother loading all the camera gear in the car, seeing as how I didn’t consider my route one that would yield any wildlife.

Big Horn Ram
Big Horn Ram

Not that far past the reservoir, as I was about to round a little bend, a hundred pound rock came bouncing down the embankment to the right of the road, straight out in front of me, barely missing the front of the car. Now this rock was about a foot tall and my 3 inch clearance Prius was going to have some trouble going over it, so I backed up to go around, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw what caused the rock to come tumbling down the hill.

Big Horn Ram
Big Horn Ram

A small mixed group of Bighorn Sheep was clamoring along the hillside, dislodging rocks as they went.

Young Bighorn Ram
Young Bighorn Ram
Big Horn Ram
Big Horn Ram
Big Horn Rams
Big Horn Rams
Big Horn Rams
Big Horn Rams
Big Horn Rams
Big Horn Rams
Big Horn Rams
Big Horn Rams
Big Horn Rams
Big Horn Rams
Big Horn Rams and Lamb
Big Horn Rams and Lamb

There were two lambs and two females traveling along with six or seven rams. Their destination, a mineral lick.

Gathering at the Mineral Lick
Gathering at the Mineral Lick

And this hillside obviously was some sort of mineral lick.

Mineral Lick
Mineral Lick
Mineral Lick
Mineral Lick

The embankment was pockmarked with holes like the one in the image above, where the sheep have licked and poked their noses into the clay to get at the minerals they crave. The mineral licks are an important source of sodium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, and other micronutrients for the bighorn sheep.

Gathering at the Mineral Lick
Gathering at the Mineral Lick
Gathering at the Mineral Lick
Gathering at the Mineral Lick

Still no elk or mountain goats, but now I at least have one species crossed off my Rocky Mountain Wildlife list.

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7 thoughts on “August 13, 2016 Twin Lakes, Colorado”

  1. I really enjoy your pictures and learning from you. I didn’t know Big Horn Sheep lick minerals. Glad you found some big wildlife.

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