Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter egg hunt: Let's look for mountain goats instead!

Last Saturday, the morning paper here said that there would be a Mountain Goat viewing event in the Little Cottonwood Canyon Park and Ride from 9 to noon.
Telescopes would be provided.
Well how about that?
Little Cottonwood Canyon's Park and Ride is about eight miles from my house so off I went to see what I could see.
As YOU can see from the above photo, yes I actually DID see some wild mountain goats, and photographed them as well!

There was a moderate sized crowd in the Park and Ride area.
Lots of folks brought their telescopes and binoculars and other scope type things.
Several Rangers were there willing and able to point out where the goats were hanging around waaaaayyyy up in the mountains above us.

Now this is what I was looking at with a telephoto lens.
Can you see the goats?
(One is directly above the ? in the sentence above, at about the five o'clock position in the photo.)

There are five goats in this photo.

I was able to crop down on the photos for a better look.
I think the goats are shedding their winter coats.
They look kind of messy right now.

It was helpful when the goats would move around a little.
From where we were standing the goats were about the size of poppy seed on the mountain.

Boy do they blend in!

They are pretty big critters.

The rangers had displays and information about the goats.
Kids were invited to touch the pelts, horns and hooves of slain goats.

Seeing the little kids with their mamas was sweet.
Both the human and goat kid varieties!

See the green tree smack dab in the middle of the photo?
There is a goat next to it.

Honestly, most of the time I couldn't see the goats.
There is one of the ledge at about the 9 o'clock position on the very edge of this photo.
Do I need to go rent a more powerful camera lens and go photograph the goats again?
I think so!

You can see the two goats in this photo, right?
View in a diagonal line, from upper left to lower right.

So this is what it looked like WITH full zoom.
I labeled where the two goats are in this scene.
They are the same two in the last two photos, without cropping.
First one would try to see a white speck with one's naked eye or borrowing a powerful telescope.
Then one would attempt to find the same rocky out crop/bush/tree again through the camera view finder.
Good luck with that!

It really did feel like a wild crazy twist on Easter egg hunting.
Especially when someone would yell out "I see it!"  or "Look, there are five of them and they are walking!"

I have had the pleasure of seeing Mountain Goats on the highway up in the Canadian Rockies.
There the goats perch on rocky outcrops above the highway. 
One can see the goat's nostrils and horn ridges and eye lashes they are so close sometimes.
(I swear I heard one of them say "Out for a drive, eh?" as we drove past...)
I don't think our goats are going to come as close at the Canadian goats, but hey, I only had to drive eight miles to see them here!


Kathie said...

Cool! I've never seen one. Your experience reminds me of the time when we moved here - I was told I could see the Canada Day fireworks from the shore close to us.The fireworks are set off across the water in Charlottetown - 25 miles away. Yes, I could see them but they were only the size of my hand! I don't know what I was expecting but that firework display didn't generate quite the same excitement...

Tamara Hauge said...

This is great. I've always wanted to see big horn sheep or mountain goats in the wild, but so far it hasn't happened, so I really enjoyed your photos. You seem to do a lot of interesting activities. Keep up the great posts.