One of the surprises Adam and I found along the Crater Lake Trail was totally unexpected. As we hiked the trail, we had just come across an area where several pikas were scurrying among the loose rocks (“A ‘Life’ Mammal … On Top of the Mountain”). We decided it would be best to find a place to sit and wait for the cute little pikas to settle down a bit so we could photograph them.
As we sat among the rocks, we heard a distant sound … one that vaguely sounded like an animal calling. We listened intently for the sound again. A short while later, we again heard the sound. Looking above us and off to our right, it became evident what we were hearing. A very young mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) was standing on a steep slope of loose, rocks … calling for Mom! As we scanned the mountainside with our binoculars, we saw mom, just a short ways ahead of the kid. Hearing the calls, mom stopped and waited for Junior to catch up. What a sight! We had occasionally scanned the mountainsides for goat activity, seeing a single goat at the beginning of our hike, but certainly not expecting to see a mom with her newborn along the cliffs! Here are a couple of images I made as we sat and watched the 2 goats climbing the mountainside:
A wonderful wildlife sighting! We were both excited to watch mom and kid as they navigated the steep slopes and wander into a tree patch that was above them. Doesn’t get any better than this!