A Big Stretch


“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”
Sir Edmund Hillary

“What then?” said the ewe, as she considered her next step.

Is it wise to climb higher and edge to the cliff or would it be smarter to abandon the imagined prospects and bed down right here?

“Why not?” said the ewe, as she conquered that which threatened her clear-sighted progress.

Would not the view from above be worth a wobble and a waver or two?

“Of course!” said the ewe, as she stretched her legs further and readied for more of the climb.

And with a look all around to appreciate her accomplishments, the ewe continued on.


These photos were taken in WatertonΒ Canyon, where the South Platte River flows out the mountains eastward toward the Plains through the foothills southwest of Denver. Colorado is home to the largest population of bighorn sheep anywhere. Rams have massive, coiled horns that can make up as much as 10 percent of their body weight. Ewes have spike-like horns. Bighorn are often seen far above, gazing into the distance from the tops of ridges and from the edges of cliffs. Surely their view is incredible.

73 thoughts on “A Big Stretch

  1. I’m feeling a touch of vertigo just looking at these photos! Good for “ewe” for braving the heights for the spectacular view and reaching for goals. πŸ™‚

  2. Wonderful photographs, especially the first one… they are really amazing to climb the rocky mountains… Once I watched on television… Fascinated me your photograph. And also the quote too. Thank you dear Bella, with my love, nia

  3. We have a saying about steep mountain ridges here, that refers to them being too steep for even a goat to climb. After seeing your pictures, I’m thinking there is no such thing. If they can climb that, nothing is off limits. Great pictures Bella.

  4. Beautiful shots! I have always wondered about these creatures and how they are able to climb to such heights in this terrain. They look like they are shaped too awkwardly to have such balance and grace.

    • Ran across a small herd right alongside the beginning of a trail….barely had time to get the camera out of the pack when she started climbing. Thanks gaga. Love the name πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for the photos – bighorn sheep are something I would dearly love to see – we’ve hiked in areas where they are supposed to live, but no sightings yet!

  6. Fantastic photos. I have always been amazed by the dexterity – is that the right word – of bighorn sheep. We used to watch them on the rock cliffs when we were backpacking in the Big Horn Mountains outside of Sheridan, Wyoming.

  7. That is a stunning photo. I love them both, but the first one is really one to stand out. I believe bighorns are quite difficult to photograph and you have done a great job here. I know I have not have time to follow you blog lately, but as always I do enjoy coming back.

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