There they are!
Wait…I can’t see any.
Okay, look for the lone cottonwood tree…do you see it?
Now look to the right and see the long strip of grasses?
Just to the right of that you should…
Oooooooh I see them!!!
This is what we heard a lot of on our trip. When you go on a naturalist trip, you tend to spend a lot of time describing where you saw whatever amazing animal(s) that you are looking at. Looking through a scope (aka a telescope) is very different than looking through binoculars or even the naked eye. It tends to isolate what you are seeing and when you pull away from it, you lose the animal in the bigger picture and it can take a while to find it again. But when you do, it’s magic. Even after seeing my 100th Mule deer or bison, I never got tired of being able to spot them. The best part was being the first to spot a group of mountain goats on a mountain side that was easily a mile away from us. It was almost like a game.
This is one way that animals have of defending themselves. If you blend into the landscape, and are upwind, a predator might have a more difficult time spotting you. And the cool thing is we were less than five miles out of town (Jackson, WY) when we spotted most of the animals I am showing today.
Here are some of the pictures I took while we were “glassing the slopes” (the term used when one is searching through scopes to find wildlife.) Since I don’t have a telescoping lens on my camera, I was forced to take pictures and then blow them up to see the animals. I think you will be able to see what I mean.
Of course, sometimes the sheep would oblige and show his silhouette against the sky…
Now here’s your test, there are actually two sets of sheep in this picture, can you see them without magnifying the picture? (You can click on each picture to see it more clearly)