Finally, the third time was a charm and I was able to photograph mountain goats at Mt. Rainier - except, they're not really goats. Instead, according to the experts, they are Bovidea in the same family as antelopes, gazelles and cattle and not true goats of the Capra family. No matter, they sure look like goats. I finally found two groups feeding along the hillsides of Berkeley Park about a mile past where the trail from Sunrise splits three ways: (1) to the Burroughs, (2) to Fremont Lookout where goat sightings have been frequent lately (except when I'm there) and (3) following the Wonderland Trail on to Berkeley Park and Skyscraper Mountain. I found two groups in Berkeley Park with about a dozen animals total, including 4 youngsters.
The youngsters looked a lot younger than I would have thought given that fall and winter are rapidly approaching. Staying close to mom still, except for a few wandering about.
Fortunately, I was carrying my long lens and was able to get decent views.
A few of them posed as if they wanted to have their portrait taken. I was only happy to oblige.
It still astounds me how they are able to find enough food up here to survive.
The clan sticks together.
There seems to be a significant symmetry about where and how they sit or stand in pairs.
These are all females tending the herd. Males live a solitary life except during mating season.
Twins? They could be. One of the bigger challenges to the herds' long term viability is to limit inbreeding. Fortunately, it seems as though the herds at Mt. Rainier are fairly healthy, with 72 counted in one group last week by rangers on the hillsides of Freemont Mountain.
This female was apparently unimpressed by my camera.
Lots of fun.