It has been one of those years in which, if I didn't have any photographs,…
It has been one unsettled eve after another the past week. I mean both the weather and for me, with lots of emotional turmoil on the inside.
On Friday afternoon I went for a short run and then packed a sandwich and a few beers in a small cooler and drove back out to the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge with my camera. The wind was blowing pretty stiff, as it has nearly every day for the past two month. It whipped up little tornadoes of sand and grit and I had to wrap my camera – and sometimes my head – inside my blue windcoat. I sat myself in a little crevice in the volcanic rocks with my feet hanging over the rim and just waited. My head was somewhat protected from the blow by bunches of sage behind me and to the side.
Clouds were building and falling in all directions across the sky and then crowding up against the mountains. Some broke off and away and went counter to the general flow of the sky, spitting out mists of rain like dusts marking their paths.
It wasn’t too long before six young male bighorn sheep stepped in front of me, about ten feet away. They came up from under the bridge and moved along wobbly plates of rock scree so steep I don’t think I could ever make it up that way. They switch-backed slowly along the face of the cliff until they were right there, there where they stopped and looked at me. Not unsettled at all. Not concerned in the least.
The bighorns were so close the unsettled feelings moved from my heart to my stomach. I ran it through my head…had I ever read anything about a bighorn going after a human? I couldn’t recall any but I’m sure it has happened in someplace where fools step in and try to pet wild animals. Deep breath. I sat still and relaxed and then calmly started taking pictures of the bighorns. After just a minute or two, they moved on south along the rim and I stayed put to take pictures of the clouds and then, later the night sky.
I’ll post the pictures I took of the bighorns tomorrow.