Today, an outstanding shot of big-horn sheep of Trail Ridge Road in Colorado taken by Tom Bartel from the Travel Past 50 Blog.
Tom is a former magazine publisher who retired from the publishing business and started travelling full time in 2010. So far, he has made it to more than 65 countries, and 49 out of the 50 United States.
Photo Story: Big Horn Sheeps on the Trail Ridge Road
One of the best things about the United States National Parks is that the wildlife is completely protected and that many species are easy to approach. (Don’t try that with the bison, moose, or grizzly bears, though.)
Because all hunting and any close contact with animals are prohibited, the animals don’t seem to display their usual fear of humans. Consequently, it’s comparatively easy to approach them, at least within a long lens range, and get some nice shots.
Big Horn Sheep and elk are especially happy to cavort near the main roads, or simply sit in the sun and pose for portraits.
On one sunny autumn day were driving over the famously scenic Trail Ridge Road in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park and came across these guys just sitting in the rocky meadow about 50 meters off the road.
So, we pulled our car onto the shoulder. I put on the 70-300 mm zoom lens and walked quietly back up the road to a point opposite of where these guys were sunbathing.
They just sat there looking bored, like being photo models was an everyday occurrence. Which is probably is for them.
If you are interested in wildlife and landscape photography, you can do a lot worse than take a road trip through the Western United States, especially in the National Parks.
We’ve been to most of the Western US National Parks and have seen bears, moose, elk, bison, coyotes, sheep, mountain goats, prairie dogs, and chipmunks–along with innumerable fantastic sunsets over stunning landscapes.
Of course, most parks have well-maintained hiking trails that will take you far from any roads if you want to get really close to nature and the animals. If you’re interested in those hikes, many parks strongly suggest you wear a bell on your pack and some parks even strictly require you to carry bear spray.
If you’re thinking of doing that, you should also know the answer to the riddle, “How do you recognize Grizzly Bear scat?”
The answer: “It has bells in it and it smells like pepper.”
Trail Ridge Road is the name for a stretch of U.S. Highway 34 that traverses Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park, Colorado in the east to Grand Lake, Colorado in the west. The road is also known as Trail Ridge Road/Beaver Meadow National Scenic Byway.
Trail Ridge Road is closed during the winter, and often remains closed until late spring or early summer depending on the snowpack. It requires access to Rocky Mountain National Park even for local residents.
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