Art of the Day: Boxing Day Bighorn

Don’t know if you’ve ever tried to photograph something when the snow is falling…big flakes…but if you have, you’ll recall that your camera’s autofocus is so good that it can find a single snowflake to focus on – and does.

SO…manual focus is the thing in the snow. This guy was hanging out at the top of a cliff with another male, a female, and a lamb. Neat looking group. They’re pretty shy so I didn’t get as close as I’d have liked to, but…that’s the way it is sometimes. He sure looks healthy – fat.

Notice a couple of things. First, he’s got some breakfast in his mouth. Second, note that the end of his horns don’t come to points. They look broken off. Unlike antlers, which the deer, elk, and moose shed every year, the sheep (and buffalo) have horns which continue to grow. As the bighorn’s horn grows and curls, it can wreck his peripheral vision. In order to account for that, he’ll grind off the tips of the horns on something hard (a rock usually). This is called “brooming” (for some reason). And this guy’s horns have been properly broomed.

Boxing Day Bighorn

This one wants to be a square crop only. You can get it in a handmade barnwood frame on 15″ x 15″ acrylic for $175 (plus five percent shipping). Email me at to place an order for this shot. Other sizes and media available, of course.