Greybull

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

We are staying in a town called Greybull in Wyoming. According to the campground literature, the Greybull River was named after an albino bison bull that roamed the valley. He was sacred to the Native Americans and the white hunters who tried to kill him were unsuccessful. The town of Greybull was established in 1906 by Burlington Railroad and was named after the river which was named after the bison.

We spent our first day here catching up on things since we now had electricity and internet access. It was nice to sit outside in the shade and enjoy the warm dry weather. We explored the area near the campground and Regis explored the small town on his bicycle.

Today, we went to the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in search of feral horses. We saw a male horse as soon as we entered the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range which appears to be part of the Bighorn NRA. The horse had an injured eye, which is always sad to see. The other eye appeared to be fine. I wonder if it was injured in a fight with another male horse. We encountered two more males during our stay. It was hard to get a good picture because they spend most of their time grazing with their head down and when they pick their head up, it is to flick off the insects that are harassing them. I love the dun markings on the horses.

The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center website describes the coloring as follows:

“The linebacked dun family of colors is very common among the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses, and these are the colors most often associated with the herd. Linebacked duns are horses of a base color that is affected by a genetic trait called the dun allele. The dun allele lightens the coat and adds primitive markings to it. Primitive markings are stripes and bars. These include a stripe running down the back (a dorsal stripe), “zebra” stripes on the legs, wither bars, fish-boning off the dorsal stripe, and spider webbing on the face. These different markings aren’t all always present on each Pryor Mountain Wild Horse, though all of them have a dorsal stripe and and nearly all have distinct leg stripes.”

Wild mustang at the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. You can see the white in the horses eye indicating there is an injury and/or infection.
Wild mustang at the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. These horses have beautiful coloring.
Wild mustang at the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. You can see the dark line down this horses back. This horse has amazing coloring.

While at the Bighorn Canyon NRA, we stopped at one of the overlooks and there were bighorn sheep there. We got lots of pictures and video. We are most fascinated with one particular female that was making a lot of sounds. This is the first time we heard a bighorn sheep make a sound. Sometimes we are probably too far away to know, but this grabbed our attention. Between Regis and I, we got some video of her. When I was going through it this afternoon, including looking at some pictures of her, I got to wondering whether she was in labor. We have video below that includes sound. Notice her sides moving as she calls out. Sometimes, her tail flicks differently than we have seen in the other females.

Female bighorn sheep. Is it possible she is in labor?

We got other video of the females with their lambs. Notice how easily they jump around the rocky ledges.

Bighorn sheep mamas with their lambs deftly moving among the rocky ledges.
Bighorn sheep on the top edge of the canyon wall.

We went back in the evening to see if we could find the female we thought might be in labor and could not find her. We found other members of the group and as we were leaving, we spotted a male bighorn sheep on a hillside. Except for male lambs, we have not seen any males on our trip. This guy is not very old, but you can see his horns starting to curl. Females have straight horns.

Male bighorn sheep.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

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