Friday, December 16, 2011
December in the sheep pasture
The Wind River Mountains are magnificent in their snow-covered spendor, but the sagebrush rangelands still contain only a scattering of snow.
The image below is our New Fork River pasture where the sheep are currently located, taken at sunrise earlier this week. It was about -8 degrees that morning, which is a typical overnight low for us this time of year.
This herd of mule deer have been a constant presence in the pasture for the last few weeks, safe from disturbance for breeding season. I'm still trying to get a good photo of the muley/white-tailed hybrid buck that hangs out with this bunch.
We turned the rams out last weekend, to join the ewe herd, so we'll have lambs five months from now. This ram has wounds from recent skull-crashing disputes with another ram.
While I fed the guardian dogs and had a look around the pasture, I heard the sound of branches breaking. It was two bull moose, browsing their way through the willows.
Western Wyoming's Shiras moose population has been suffering, so it's a great pleasure to share the pasture with these fellows.