Hiking in the Rocky Mountains always fills me with inspiration and a keen sense of being truly "alive." During moments in the wilderness, I feel at one with nature and absorb the colors and light of the landscape. I thrill to observe the extraordinary wildlife I encounter.
I was sketching in a high country clearing during one such occasion when a distant herd of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep drifted close to me. Soon I was encircled by the grazing bighorn sheep, surrounded by the entire group.
As if the bighorn sheep had accepted me as "part of the herd," they begin to graze closer and closer to me. One young ram laid down so close to me that I could have reached out and touched him. When the ram began to doze, I was amazed at his trust. One curious youngster walked up and sniffed me. His mother scolded him, nudging him away.
Suddenly, the entire herd lept to their feet on full alert, looking around and sniffing the air! I could neither hear nor see anything unusual. At that moment, the whole herd raced over the edge of a cliff, nimbly transversing rocks and almost vertical slopes, disappearing in a flurry of dust. Startled at how swiftly the bighorn sheep moved from peaceful tranquility to racing at top speed over and down the cliff face, I went to the cliff's edge to look around.
What had startled the bighorn sheep? Mountain lions are the main predator of bighorn sheep. Should I be concerned?
For more of the story check out our adventure journal.
- Original Oil on Belgian linen
- Unframed 17"x11"
- Framed 25.5"x 19.5"
- Original art is framed in one of our Signature Frames