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Buford
Buford
Posts: 306


12/24/2019
Buford
Buford
Posts: 306
Looks like there will be more chances to hike in the rain this week and maybe snow if the level drops low enough. Yesterday afternoon the snow level was ~6000 feet, Rabbit was dusted. I was not hiking Rabbit. I hiked elsewhere in the park and got soaked after midmorning.



I was not expecting or looking for sheep. I didn't know they frequented the area we were hiking in. I heard the rams cracking heads first before finally spotting them. There were ~20 on the slope. This is the most sheep I have seen in one place outside BPC or the Santa Rosa Mountains. I don't know which ewe band the sheep belong to. The sheep were far away and the light was poor so none of the photos are that great.

There are at least eight in this picture:


The park service must know they are here because some of the ewes were wearing the biologist mandated tracking devices:


Braving the cholla minefield:


Freshly decapitated cacti that still smelled like sheep:


Some extra pictures from a couple weeks ago I hadn't posted yet:

How to scratch an itch with four legs and no arms







edited by Buford on 12/24/2019
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Britain
Britain
Posts: 470


12/24/2019
Britain
Britain
Posts: 470
Nice sheep shots!

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Britain
http://icorva.com
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ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 822


12/24/2019
ziphius
ziphius
Posts: 822
Nice! Great barrel cactus feeding sign too! Interesting that they are utilizing the cactus in the cool, wet season.

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tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 227


12/27/2019
tekewin
tekewin
Posts: 227
More strong photos, thanks!

That is a bunch of sheep. Looks like many are tagged. The scratching shot was good timing.

I saw a bighorn busting up a barrel cactus and eating the pieces. Didn't know they did that. Maybe it's more for the water content than food content?
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 906


12/29/2019
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 906
Nice pics Buford! Looks like the sheep were in your back yard. What lens you using?
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Buford
Buford
Posts: 306


12/29/2019
Buford
Buford
Posts: 306
I'll have more pictures posted over the next couple days from this weekend. I can't help but run into sheep in the park, even when not looking for them. When I find them, I have to take a few pictures.

@tekewin They use the barrel interior for moisture. I poked it with my trekking poles. The water content was crazy, almost water melon like inside. I actually got some pictures this morning of one busting open a barrel. All the cacti are swollen with water from the recent rains. They eat the barrel dried flowers too. During the sheep count I have seen them go down a hillside and systematically eat the dried flowers or fruit from every barrel top.

@tommy750 I don't have a fancy setup. Just a sony a6400 and a Sigma 150-600C for most sheep pictures. I think S22 is my backyard now. It doesn't hurt that some of the sheep pictures are from the BPC herd and used to people.
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Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 64


12/29/2019
Scooter
Scooter
Posts: 64
I was on the fire that burned over Granite Mountain about 5 years ago. The bottom of the dry barrel cactus burns quite well, when they burn at the bottom the cactus falls over. With several broken off never able to grow again I cut one open and ate it. The crew thought I was crazy !! I explained I would never get this chance again as I would not cut into a living barrel cactus. Anyway it was very moist and tasted like a not ripe honeydew mellon.
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deborah
deborah
Posts: 90


12/29/2019
deborah
deborah
Posts: 90
Thanks for sharing the pictures. There are so many sheep! It's really interesting that they get into the barrel cactus like that. I didn't know that they do that.

And Scooter, it sounds like you were in such unique circumstances to be able to try one. I can imagine you really did surprise some folks. smile
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surfponto
surfponto
Administrator
Posts: 1268


12/30/2019
surfponto
surfponto
Administrator
Posts: 1268
Amazing sheep pictures. Thanks for posting those.

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http://www.anzaborrego.net/



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