We had gotten up at 4:30am (which is awfully early for a Saturday) to drive HWY 40. This is a bit of a summer ritual for us. Kananaskis Country is one of our favorite places to be and early in the morning it usually chock full of wildlife. Today was different though, we had only seen deer and not much else. I had learned however that Rock Glacier was a good place to see Pikas if you knew where to look. Pikas are small mammals that sort of resemble a hamster. They exclusively live at high elevations, generally in loose rocky terrain, so Rock Glacier is a perfect habitat for them. When we got to the pull-out for Rock Glacier there was a solitary Rocky Mountain Sheep ram standing near the side of the road but we were here to see Pikas so we didn't pay much attention to him, this would later prove to be a mistake. After walking up the trail and finding a couple of Pikas that would stay still long enough to have there picture taken we turned to head back to the car. As we reached the slight crest of the trail we came back into view of the Ram we had forgotten about. We must have startled him because he ran for higher ground. Which was unfortunately right about where we were standing, placing himself on the trail between us and the car. Rocky Mountain Sheep are large powerful animals with very large horns. If he had felt that we were a threat he could have really injured either one of us. We stared at each other for about a minute and slowly he moved further up the hill and out of our way. I snapped a couple pictures and we headed for the car before he could change his mind.
We made it all the way to the rangers station near the end of HWY 40 before we saw our first bear of the day. A rather large Blonde colored Black Bear was feeding by the roadside across the highway from the rangers station. We pulled over and watched him for around 15 minutes while I snapped pictures, him completely unconcerned that we were there. After a while he wandered back into the bushes and we called it a day.
Click on the picture to the right or the "Latest Images" button to see the rest of the pictures from yesterday.
As always this and all the other pictures on my site are available as a high quality print. If you are interested click the Envelope button at the top of the page.