Borrego Bighorn

Ron Niebrugge Anza-Borrego, California, Photos, Travel 11 Comments

Desert bighorn, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

Desert bighorn, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

My alarm went off at its usual pre-sunrise time of 5:20 this morning.  As a non-morning person, I  gotta admit I’m looking forward to daylight savings time.  Anyway, I headed out the door a few minutes later and saw that the sky was full of clouds – clouds that hadn’t been in the forecast.  So, I make a last minute decision to head to a more distant location –  a place  better situated for the sunrise.  Well, I ended up watching a spectacular sunrise through the windshield instead of the viewfinder.  🙂

Speaking of clouds – a few moved in briefly on Wednesday afternoon.  Cloudy weather provides the perfect defused light for wildlife, so I headed to Borrego Palm Canyon in search of desert bighorn.  I spotted two small rams not too high up on the hillside and decided to slowly climb up to them.  Over time, I eventually got close to the one you see pictured here.  I decided to just sit there and take in the wonderful opportunity of being so close to such a magnificent, rare animal.   After a bit of time he eventually laid his head down and closed his eyes!  Talk about trust.

I also found the band of ewes with new born lambs which I have been keeping an eye on.  I hoped they would come down for a drink.  It seemed like they were starting to come down the busy trail area where I have seem them before, but then they too decided to rest.  I watched and waited until dark, but they never did come down, but it was still a wonderful day in the desert!

Comments 11

  1. Wonderful portrait Ron! I can totally relate to your experience as I once followed a bighorn ram around Wilcox ridge in the Canadian Rockies for the better part of an afternoon. Amazing to just be in their presence – the images are the frosting.

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    Thanks everyone!

    @ Russ – I remember having a similar experience in Jasper – when the rams took a break for rest, I took a nap right there with them! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great shot, I love it when one can catch wildlife doing something cute or different!and also when we are abe to commune with the animal and his spirit. Glad you were able to do so! Even though you didn’t get the sunrise shot, it paid off! I had a similar experience with a young buck at Yorktown Battlefield!

  4. Well captured. Seems like it was a day filled with decisions and some definite payoffs. Hopefully you can get the ewes and lambs on your next visit! There’s always something to keep bringing us back out to shoot!

  5. Ron, I can’t tell you enough how familiar your first paragraph is to me! I suppose many photographers can relate to that situation.

    Great portrait here. I agree that there is no better sign of trust than a wild animal that is willing to sleep in front of you.

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  7. It’s always fantastic to get the opportunity to share space with an animal like that — and especially nice when you’ve earned their trust enough to fully relax around you. Wonderful shot of the ram! (And I’m looking forward to daylight savings time too!)

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