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Photographer's Note

Bighorn Sheep.

Just outside of Drake, Colorado

These are wonderful big majestic animals. They are incredibly nimble .. and are often found like this navigating steep canyon walls.

Rocky Mountains bighorn females weigh up to 200 pounds (90 kg), and males occasionally exceed 300 pounds (135 kg). Males horns can weigh up to 30 lbs (14 kg), as much as the rest of the bones in the male's body. - from Wikipedia .. you can learn all about these wonderful critters at this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bighorn_sheep

Just after I finished taking my shots of the river (see previous post) I climbed back up the river bank to the pullout where I had parked my car.

A highway repair crew had pulled over next to my car and were standing looking across the road and up the canyon wall ..

This group of wild Bighorn sheep was descending the canyon. They have frequented this area for years .. I have seen a group of four my last two trips up the canyon .. licking up the salt mix from the road the crews put down to break up the ice.

I scrambled to get my ND off .. but I shouldn't of hurried we just hung out next to the sheep for a long while .. by the time I left a half dozen people with cameras were lining the side of the road ..

Challenging light to say the least (at least for me) as the late afternoon sun and shadows danced on the canyon walls .. I experimented a great deal with where to set the shadow/highlight .. it was easy for me to get all sorts of horrible and unnatural results .. plus I found the front of the big sheep I was trying to rescue was just black .. so I ended up back with this far more mellow setting with the shadow creeping along the canyon wall.

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Additional Photos by John McLaird (jmcl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2514 W: 131 N: 4070] (14535)
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