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.


Cowgirl Red said...

Absolutely beautiful. It makes me homesick for Wyoming. I wonder what caused the Moose population to decline? It's always so quiet when it's that cold. I could here the moose crashing too. I can't wait to see the picture of the hybrid deer when you get it. And know you will. Terah

Anonymous said...

Awesome...wich we qwere there.
Started lessons last week. kids love the story and cannot believe I know the author etc...will keep you posted with pix...

Cat Urbigkit said...

Thanks ladies. Karen, if you want to do an update on the story for the kids, I could take some current photos of all the characters and you could share them with the class.

CZLion said...

From what I hear, wolves find the moose easy prey. Cat will know about that.

My buddy, Cody, had wolves within 50 yards of his
small herd of angus last week. Luckily they were scared off before they could get one.