Eight Is Not Enough

Eight is not enough unless it’s Bighorn rams all in an unexpected bunch walking along highway 14 on a Friday afternoon. Then eight is plenty. I mean you can be greedy and ask for more but that is just plain selfish, eight is enough. They’re bunched up pretty good but look carefully and count and you’ll find eight good rams there amongst the ewes. They stayed tightly grouped like this. You could have dropped a net over the whole lot of them and got them all.

The rut is over, at least for this bunch it is. For those of you in the know the rut is when the rams get all chesty and full of themselves and believe that they are each God’s gift to the ewes and are the only ones fit to breed and gift the world with their progeny and will battle to the death with the other rams to prove it. But when it’s over and the fighting is done and the breeding is finished they’re all like “Dude! How you doing. Sorry ’bout that! You OK? Let’s go get a Pizza. No, I’m buying. You still got a headache, me too.” They’re all BFF, until next year that is, then it happens all over again.

This group of about fifteen animals appeared to be in really good shape. Healthy, well fed, alert. They’re not all that skittish, allowing people to be within 50-75′ before they begin moving off but they will bolt uphill at sudden movements of any observers. It may be stating the obvious but the rams are heavy bodied and have the very heavy horns and the ewes have smaller bodies with the small somewhat short horns. There is always one or more of the ewes on watch and the rams tend to stay on the outside of the herd but not always. The more at ease they are the less they appear to be in defense mode.

These guys were spotted on March 2 and it was in the 50’s in the mountains. What that means for an early spring is anybody’s guess with our nonexistent global warming happening, but whatever it is here’s your Bighorns. Enjoy.

Figaro !




Well it’s looking like spring is right around the corner here in Yellowstone and besides love, there is ‘you know what’, in the air. That’s right, Opera!  As you know every year Yellowstone’s denizens get together and put on a show. And what a show it is. Various animal groups send their very best talent to try out for the various parts available and auditions are in full swing throughout the park. It’s like American Idol for the four-legged set.

This year they are going to present Le Nozze di Figaro or as it is correctly pronounced here in the USA “The Marriage of Figaro”. This is the same one that was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, or old ‘Horndog’ as he was known in musical circles back then. Then being around 1786. It’s a comedy of course but the singing is serious, and many famous singers such as Pavarotti, Dion and The Belmonts, Gene Autry the singing cowboy, Placido Domingo, Enrico Caruso, Andrea Bocceli, Sting and Slim Whitman to name just a few have sung the part of Figaro.

The story is simple but compelling none the less and is considered to be a laugh riot extraordinaire by opera goers everywhere. Here is a brief synopsis.

The Marriage of Figaro continues the plot of The Barber of Seville, another side-splitting comedy, brought to you by the same folks at the Burgtheater in Vienna, several years later, and recounts a single “day of madness” (la folle journée) in the palace of Count Almaviva near Seville, Spain. There’s a woman who gets to be a countess; A really mean Doctor, our friend Figaro, his main squeeze Rosina a flighty but buxom wench and many others. There’s supposed to be a marriage but it gets all screwed up, and as the Opera closes everything has been straightened out and all ends well. It’s a fun-filled, zany, laugh a minute riot and a must see.

In a bold move the producers have chosen a young but sturdy Bighorn ram to play the part of Figaro who can be seen here practicing Figaro’s Aria, one of the catchy tunes that will have you humming it all day long.

The Institute has been graciously granted a large block of hard to obtain tickets to this amazing Spectacular, and we are making them available to the first 18,000 requests at the low price of $470 for adults and $350 for children under five. Now we know you’re going to want to see this once in a lifetime show so get your tickets early. We accept PayPal and cash, but please no personal checks, and as always se habla español. See you there.