Bt Dan Weisz
Here is a return look at two favorite species of mammals that we are familiar with in the Foothills. The javelina family dropped by last week before the rains. I think the water I am providing was a much needed and desired treat.
A number of the javelinas dug into the soft ground for a cool spot to rest. There were two babies in this group. One baby is awake here.
And now the baby is at rest.
The javelinas began to move around. This baby was letting its mom know that it needed something. Mom seemed indifferent.
And then the baby did what babies do: scream and tantrum!! You can see two baby teeth growing in! Perhaps the Mom cared, but javelinas never look too perplexed or anxious.
The babies checked back in with their moms. In a short while the herd moved on. Perhaps with the start of the rains I won’t see them very much anymore this summer.
We have a healthy herd of Bighorn Sheep in the Catalinas and they can be observed by Foothills residents periodically. I made a weekend trip to Las Vegas to visit grandchildren with a now “required” detour and stop at Hemenway Village Park in Boulder City. We saw Bighorn Sheep both on the way to Las Vegas and also on the way home. The shot below was of what I call the Three Sisters who were resting in the shade right along the path to the park’s restrooms. The sheep raised their heads in response to my crouching down for a better photo angle. They were just being aware and watching but they didn’t budge. I do use a telephoto lens as well as additional cropping when I process the photos. I wasn’t that close to them.
Almost 50 sheep total were present that morning. Two large rams grazed on the other side of the tennis courts. One ram had some creosote leaves stuck in his left horn.
In another group of sheep, there were a few rams and many ewes. One ewe had an interesting coat along with the mane on the back of her neck.
Finally, back to the Three Sisters. It appears as if this ewe was happy to see me but she really didn’t care. When Bighorn Sheep chew their cud, their facial expressions can look very funny. She was neither happy nor smiling, she was just chewing. Those big eyes and teeth just give we humans something neat to look at and it is normal to anthropomorphize: She MUST be smiling for the camera!!!
While these particular Bighorn Sheep are not our neighbors, they are the same species and we are fortunate to know that “our own” sheep live in the mountains near us.