Pretty much my last look at a Mountain Goat until next spring. It seemed fitting that one of the last images I captured of one was of this cute one as it headed around the side of Mount Evans and out of view. The road to this very popular Mountain Goat hangout closes after Labor Day every year due to typically deteriorating weather conditions as the seasons change and won’t open up again until Memorial Day weekend.
A fun image from back in June when I spent time with the herd on top of Mount Evans, Colorado. As usual, the animals were spending the morning hanging out entertaining the tourists and photographers.
After a time, they then proceeded around the east face of the mountain, bounding higher and across the large rocks. This made for a great photo opportunity to capture a large number of them in a single image, something you usually can’t do. It is a bummer the skies were so hazy but it still made for a neat shot.
Adorable, cute, darling… All of those are applicable adjectives to apply to Mountain Goat kids, including this one.
Following a bit of a wild rumpus with other young ones in the herd, this kid decided it was time for a break. While mom grazed on the foliage nearby, it opted to just lay down and relax. That didn’t mean it wasn’t paying attention and it seemed as interested in watching me as I was in watching it.
A little bit of high country drama involving this little one, its herd and humans and dogs.
As usual, the Mountain Goat herd on Mount Evans was hanging out near the parking area this past Saturday morning. There were probably a dozen or more tourists and photographers enjoying watching the animals as they bounded on the mountain.
A young couple with two dogs decided to disregard commonsense and bring their pets close to the herd. To wildlife, dogs are predators, and the herd reacted as you would expect – they quickly fled down the mountain a ways to distance themselves.
In the process, this poor little kid got separated from its mom. It was initially out of my view but I could hear it desperately calling for help. It seemed like an eternity but finally it topped the hill behind me and was able to see the herd. Quickly, it bounded down the rock face of the hill flying right by me to its mom.
It was quite close and the action fast but I managed a few shots as it went by including this one as it leapt off one of the rocks.
While it made for a cool capture, the situation that created it was frustrating. I have dogs and I love dogs. However, they and wildlife simply do not mix – period. By choosing to bring their dogs in close proximity to the Mountain Goats, they stressed the animals, created unnecessary drama and a potentially dangerous situation, and ruined a great wildlife viewing opportunity for tourists and photographers.
I see this time and again in this spot and many others and it is very frustrating. If you have dogs and take them with you to locations with wildlife, keep them well out of sight and earshot of the wildlife.
Mountain Goats are pretty docile and not likely to attack. Moose, elk and other creatures may not be so quick to retreat. Be courteous to others there to enjoy these gifts from Mother Nature.
Scroll down to view the complete sequence of images.
The conditions at 14,000+ feet can be harsh any time of year so when it is nice, you have to be sure to enjoy it. That seemed to be what this handsome fellow was doing a couple of weeks ago. While it was a chilly 40 degrees, there was some filtered sun coming through and the wind was relatively calm.
Not truly goats, they are actually members of the same family that includes antelopes, gazelles, and cattle. These handsome creatures are found from Alaska down to the Rocky Mountains of the United States. Found at high altitudes, Mountain Goats are sure-footed climbers and built to withstand the alpine areas that they typically inhabit.
Oh my goodness. These two cuties were so darned entertaining!
Arriving at the top of Mount Evans (#Colorado), the resident Mountain Goats were nowhere to be found initially. This isn’t entirely unusual as there are lots of places for them to be but, eventually, they do usually show up at the main parking area. Sure enough, a couple hours later they did appear and the herd put on a nice show and gave me lots of pictures.
The highlight by far were these two kids who were extremely rambunctious, bounding around, butting heads and climbing on top of each other. During a brief break from the fun, one had climbed on top of a rock, seeming to want to take a break. His friend though wasn’t ready to stop and tried to coax him down for more play.
Mountain Goats are actually not native to the Centennial State. They were brought here during the 40s, 50s and 60s as game animals and as tourist attractions.
Well, technically not a meal. These Mountain Goats lick the rocks to get the minerals from them but… It will be a few more weeks before the snow is cleared and I can visit Mount Evans, Colorado, where I took this picture last year. With any luck, there will be a new generation of these little guys to enjoy watching and photographing.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, wildlife or domesticated. 😉
I don’t know why but spring fever has hit me hard this week. I can’t stop thinking about warmer weather and the creatures I see during the spring and summer.
The thing is, at least as far as this image goes, when I took this picture at the start of September it was no warmer than it is right now (33 degrees). Key difference is of course that the image was taken at nearly 14,000 feet near the top of Mount Evans where it always seems to be cold. 😉
I do look forward to returning there though and spending some time with the Mountain Goats. They are beautiful and just a ton of fun.
Oh, this little one. It was quite the entertainer for me back on the first of July at the top of Mount Evans. It and its mom and come to the top and I was doing my best to get some pictures of the kid. It however almost purposely seemed to evade my every move to get a clear shot.
Just as I would get in position, it would move itself around the side of a big boulder out of view. This went on for a while with me getting more and more annoyed. At one point when it was out of view, it stuck its head up above a boulder and I swear, it truly, purposely stuck its tongue out at me! Sigh. Some people’s kids! 😉
When you’re at an altitude of 14,000 feet or so, it can be quite chilly. The rising sun provides much-needed relief and can feel so good and be so relaxing. This beautiful Mountain Goat seemed to be enjoying soaking in the warmth and couldn’t hardly keep its eyes open as it lounged on a monster boulder near the top of Mount Evans, Colorado. As cold as it was on this morning in June, it is undoubtedly far less pleasant up there as winter starts to gear up in earnest. Of course, these alpine residents are well suited to the conditions. Me? Not so much. 😉