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Mountain Goat

Little kid stands guard for Mountain Goat Monday

These guys are so darned cute and entertaining. This particular kid was pretty interested in the group of photographers that had gathered to capture images of it and the rest of the herd near the top of Mount Evans, Colorado.

While the other kids pretty much ignored us, this one took a keen interest and spent much of the time from a perch above observing us. No doubt it found the scrambling creatures on two legs just as entertaining as we found it.

With the road to their domain now closed for the season, the next time I see this little one it will be much larger and probably not quite as cute. There should however be a new crop of little ones to take its place in my viewfinder.

A Mountain Goat kid keeps watch on the photographer below. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat kid keeps watch on the photographer below. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mountain Goat daycare

Perhaps, at least for this image, it is highly appropriate that female Mountain Goats are called ‘nannies.’ This pretty lady was providing a bit of high country babysitting this past weekend keeping watch over three kids while the other adults grazed. Thankfully for her, they were all pretty well behaved and quite content to lounge around enjoying the chilly weather.

When I was choosing my photo destinations for this past weekend, there was one that was at the top of the list – Mount Evans. The road to the top is the highest paved road in North America and due to the extreme weather it sees at over 14,000 feet in altitude, it is only open from around Memorial Day to Labor Day. With the seasonal closing only two days away, I knew this is where I needed to go as I wanted to have one more chance to spend with these cool creatures.

Arriving at the top at sunrise I was dismayed that the herd was not there and nowhere to be seen. I waited for over an hour with no luck, finally decided to head down a ways to see if perhaps they were at a lower spot and indeed they were, hanging out a few hundred feet below the road’s summit.

A Mountain Goat nanny seems to be babysitting three kids on the alpine tundra near the top of Mount Evans. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat nanny seems to be babysitting three kids on the alpine tundra near the top of Mount Evans. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mountain Goat profile in the early morning sun

Taking in a sunrise while standing at an altitude of over 14,000 feet, is an experience that is hard to describe. It is breathtaking, calming and therapeutic in many ways. I suppose in some ways it is like what astronauts experience from their perch far above the Earth.

Certainly, I don’t expect this high-altitude resident to quite feel the same way but I can’t help but think that maybe they do appreciate that view and in particular the warmth of the sun as it rises and spreads across the landscape. This nanny seemed to revel in it, stopping grazing and looking eastward, soaking in the sun’s rays and the view below for quite a while.

That early morning sun really lit up her fur and those eyes, goodness, they were radiant and showed extraordinary depth with that light.

A Mountain Goat nanny looks toward the sun soon after it rose above the horizon on the top of Mount Evans in Colorado.   (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat nanny looks toward the sun soon after it rose above the horizon on the top of Mount Evans in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mountain Goat soaks in the early morning sun

Even in the summer it is quite chilly at 14,000+ feet in altitude. In fact, it was 34 degrees when this image was snapped about an hour after sunrise. Of course these high country residents are quite able to handle the cold although even they seem to welcome the warmth of the sun’s rays.

Mountain Goats are actually not native to Colorado, having been brought here in the early 20th century as a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, they can carry diseases which are deadly to our state’s official animal, the Big Horn Sheep. When the goats roam into sheep territory, they are often killed to prevent them from infecting the sheep.

A Mountain Goat closes its eyes and enjoys the warmth of the early morning sun on Mount Evans in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat closes its eyes and enjoys the warmth of the early morning sun on Mount Evans in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mountain Goat kid relaxes on the road

It is tough work living above timberline. The weather conditions are harsh, even in the summer, and climbing all those rocks can be tiring.

This relatively newborn lamb decided to take a break and soak in the morning sun near the top of Colorado’s 14,000+ foot high Mount Evans. This was my first trip of the season to the iconic mountain and it was fun as always.

The weather was pretty typical – 34 degrees and 40 mph winds – so it was a challenge but the rewards made it worthwhile.

Mountain Goats have a native range stretching from southern Alaska to the Rocky Mountains. The populations here in Colorado where I live are actually non-native, having been brought here in the middle of the 20th century as a tourist attraction.

A Mountain Goat kid takes a break on the road leading to the summit of Mount Evans, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat kid takes a break on the road leading to the summit of Mount Evans, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A quiet, high altitude morning with Mom

It won’t be long until I am finally able to get to the top of Mount Evans and spend some time with the Mountain Goats. I am very anxious to see the herd again and of course check out the spring arrivals. This image was taken a couple of years ago. This nanny and her kid were taking in the warmth of the early morning sun and grazing on the wildflowers.

A Mountain Goat nanny and its kid on Colorado's Mount Evans.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat nanny and its kid on Colorado’s Mount Evans. (© Tony’s Takes)

The cutest kid

Let’s call it Mountain Goat Monday. The start of the week is always fraught with stress but this little one is sure to settle you down and have a calming effect. I mean, really, just look at that face!

Taken back on June 30, 2015, this Mountain Goat kid and its mom were enjoying an evening walk atop Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana. The young one never strayed far from mom but couldn’t help but be a bit distracted by all the attention it was receiving, stopping every now and then to look at the people. This little one was only a little over a month or so old and it will continue to hang around with its mother for the next year or so.

Mountain Goats have a native range stretching from southern Alaska to the Rocky Mountains. The populations here in Colorado where I live are actually non-native, having been brought here in the middle of the 20th century as a tourist attraction.

A Mountain Goat kid poses for pictures on the top of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat kid poses for pictures on the top of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mountain Goat glows in the light of sunrise at high altitude

Standing proud near the top of the 14,265-foot-high Mount Evans, this handsome fellow looked absolutely gorgeous as the sun began its climb above the horizon. On for #TBT, this image was taken back in August 2014. The goat and his herd were climbing about the old remnants of a restaurant that used to be at the top of the mountain. Burned down in a fire in 1979, what is left of the Crest House provides a nice playground for the Mountain Goats and tourists.

Mountain Goats are actually considered an invasive species here in Colorado as they are not native to the Centennial State having been brought here in the early 20th century as a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, they can carry diseases which are deadly to our state’s official animal, the Big Horn Sheep. When the goats roam into sheep territory, they are often killed to prevent them from infecting the sheep.

A Mountain Goat takes in the golden light of sunrise on top Mount Evans in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat takes in the golden light of sunrise on top Mount Evans in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mountain Goat gets a closeup

Such cool creatures and lots of fun to photograph. Taken back in June at Glacier National Park, this young goat was hanging out on Logan Pass. We spent a good bit of time observing it while it licked the rocks (for minerals) and grazed on some of the grasses and flowers.

Mountain Goats have a native range that stretches from the Rocky Mountains through Canada and into Alaska. Looking at those solid-looking feet you wouldn’t think they should be able to climb as well as they should. However they have cloven hooves that spread out and dewclaws that help them getting a grip.

A Mountain Goat walks along a wall on Logans Pass in Glacier National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat walks along a wall on Logans Pass in Glacier National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Big eyes focus on the camera

I came across this Mountain Goat billy near the top of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana this past summer. He was working his way along, licking rocks to get the minerals from them. As he did, I happily snapped a number of pictures when he finally seemed to notice me and stared right at the camera. After ascertaining I was no threat, he happily went back to ignoring me.

Mountain Goats have a native range stretching from southern Alaska to the Rocky Mountains. The populations here in Colorado where I live are actually non-native, having been brought here in the middle of the 20th century as a tourist attraction.

A Mountain Goat stays focused on the camera. Taken on Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat stays focused on the camera. Taken on Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana. (© Tony’s Takes)