Bighorns in the Road

bighorn ram

Hey brown eyes

This picture is not a telephoto shot. The bighorn ram was six feet from my open driver’s side window, so I whipped out my iPhone 6s Plus and let him have it. The encounter was thrilling. We usually see them on the opposite side of whichever gorge we’re hiking. For me, at least, being this close is simply unheard of. I thought he was going to stick his head in the window. This looks like a diorama with a stuffed sheep, but it’s not.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Stephen Slottow November 8, 2017, 10:03 PM

    When I last hiked the trail in Taos Ski Valley up to Bull of the Woods meadow (some years ago) and beyond, several big horn sheep were very friendly and walked with me within touching distance for a while.

    • garrett phipps November 8, 2017, 10:40 PM

      Great pic! Saw a bunch at cebola mesa yesterday. They sure have an amazing balancing act!!

      • JHF November 8, 2017, 11:57 PM

        Cebola Mesa! I had the ghastliest driving-in-mud experience there once. There’s a chapter about it in my first ebook, which by the way is available for free download to anyone who joins the mailing list I haven’t even used yet. (What a deal.)

        I love seeing these animals. I don’t really know why.

    • JHF November 8, 2017, 11:50 PM

      Aha! Well, I honestly haven’t heard anything like that. Anytime I’ve been near them, they’ve moved away. Not skittish like pronghorns, though. That’s a great story, thanks for sharing.

  • Judy Copek November 9, 2017, 12:37 PM

    What a handsome fellow. Have only seen them as specs in Alaska. Must have been astounding. Yowza!

  • Marti Fenton November 10, 2017, 2:46 PM

    I haven’t seen them yet. Every time we drive beyond the horseshoe we look for them. Your fascination with them has drawn them in. I’ll keep looking.

    • JHF November 10, 2017, 11:02 PM

      We’ve often seen them (at a distance!) from the road that goes from Pilar to the Taos Junction Bridge, the stretch that used to be called Orilla Verde. State Road 570, I think. That’s where I took the picture. The Slide Trail from the bridge up to the parking lot on County Road 110 (out past the country club) is another good place to see them. We go walking from that lot to the Cascabel Trail along the Rio Pueblo Gorge and sometimes see them across the gorge on Pueblo land. I also saw quite a large herd once close to the road on the Taos side of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. We’ve never seen them from the main road south (68).

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