Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wallula Mountain Goats

Wallula Mountain Goats

I spotted two mountain goats, clinging to a ledge midway up a rocky hill on my way to Wallula Junction a couple of days ago.

I only had my cell phone camera, and even with the zoom feature activated, it rendered an indistinguishable speck of white next to a microscopic speck of white.

But they were goats! Honest!

Here's the shot with my cell phone:

Here's a modified image. the spot in the center is aimed directly at the two goats.

Not very convincing proof, right?

Oh, well. It's inspired me to take my binoculars and higher-quality camera and find these two characters again.

Why are there two mountain goats in the hills near Wallula? Domesticated goats? Immigrants? Native?

Maybe it's not a mountain goat?

Wikipedia says Oreamnos americanus is found only in North America.

And it's not a Capra, the scientific name for true goats.

Mountain goats, or Rocky Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) are properly in the Bovidae family, along with antelopes, gazelles and cattle.

"Oreamnos" is from oros (mountain) and amnos (lamb).

Mountain goats sport beards (both male and female) and short tails. Their long horns are black, increasing in size yearly. They are small mammals, the buck standing only about three feet high at the shoulder.

They are found in the Rocky Mountains and the Cascade Range, in Washington, Idaho, Montana, up into Canada and the Yukon.

Perhaps I'll soon be able capture a shot like this one!

Here is the aerial view of the location:

The spot is about five miles south of Wallula, Washington, on Highway 730.

Now, where did I put those binoculars?

Mountain goats! by Chad K, Creative Commons License

Mountain goat by Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

Maps by Google

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.