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Bighorn Sheep Fence ~ distant wildlife

Bighorn Sheep can spook easily, so when I pulled off the highway to watch about two-dozen of them grabbing a snack of leaves from these trees in late summer, they were already scattering to head up the rocky embankments.

Rather than take time to level my tripod and set up a higher-resolution camera, I caught a snapshot of them with my old phone-camera (it was a pre-2010 with far inferior resolution .. I've since upgraded).

It didn't take but a few minutes before they were over the top these foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. Then I set up my 360 camera rig and leveled it to catch the fuller surroundings. Although the sheep are about the same color as the basalt rocks of the area I did a cut&paste of the critters from the lower-rez photo.

So, this is not a panorama I was going to post here (due to the multiple resolutions via cut&paste from two photos/camera. It was originally only for my entertainment. But because I decided to share two other panoramas taken beside a gate and bridges built specifically for these wild sheep, I thought it would be good to have a third in the set that actually gave an idea of what they look like, even if from a great distance.

Some of us find it an interesting and wonderful thing that others create ways for larger animals to RETURN to their herd on their own when they have gotten outside of a fence, like Bighorn Sheep that have found themselves outside of a fence that was meant to keep them in (and out of harm's way from traffic). In some cases, I've seen large culverts built under freeways to allow for migrations or even a wide overpass with park-like landscaping. This set of three panoramas shows a far simpler setup devised only for a return trip for those that managed to get out.

I imagine perhaps the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) cooperated with the National Parks Department or Fish & Wildlife or such other nature department to build a fence along this section of US 97-A South (97-Alternate Highway runs on the west side of the Columbia River) between Entiat and Wenatchee.

The primary purpose of this fence seems to be to redirect and keep transplanted Bighorn Sheep off of a rocky section of highway, as it only stretches for several miles. Or maybe it is only an experimental study in wildlife fencing.

So, the Bighorn Sheep can either hike around the north or south ends of the fence or put other creative escapee skills to work. Either way, there are times they are motivated to find their way across the highway (sometimes holding up traffic) to make it to the orchards for some leaf munching or perhaps down to the Columbia River (there are creeks running within the fenced area they can drink from). So, intended-one-way gates have been installed here and there along the fence (also providing two-way human and creative creatures access. There are also a couple of forms of intended-one-way bridges. One (like that shown here) is a ramp built mostly of rocks. Another is more like a small half-hill of soil ramped up to rectangular cage of rocks against the "outside" of the fence. Either version ramps up near to the top of the "outside" of the fence, so a larger animal can simply walk up the ramp of rock and soil and hop over to the lower "inside". These gates and half-bridges may not stop these rugged Bighorn Sheep, but reducing the numbers and regularity out onto an otherwise dangerous highway seems to have been greatly reduced.

NOTE: The address is only the approximate location of the "area" where the Bighorn Sheep, the gate with large-animal bridge, and another style of large-animal bridge were photographed with perhaps a quarter-mile average between the set of three photo-spheres.

The other two panoramas in the set of three (the one with the large-animal gate with a one-way bridge, and the other with another style of one-way bridge) were taken January 2013.  This earlier one was taken in late summer of 2012; and the old 1995 Lincoln limo belonged to a friend whom I was delivering it to.

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Copyright: Timothy Oldfield ~ Washington State 360
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 8000x4000
Taken: 24/08/2012
Uploaded: 03/01/2017
Updated: 06/01/2019


Tags: bighorn; sheep; fence; highway; rocks; wildlife; basalt
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More About USA

The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.

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