Big ol’ clouds rising

7 06 2023

Before I could get my camera out of its pack and myself out of my Jeep to aim my camera, Skywalker ceased his “wild stallion on a ridge against big, Western-sky clouds” pose with pal Sancho and headed down the ridge, following the rest of their band.

But before he disappeared, I managed to catch him in a good stride.

Some photo-geekiness for you: I rarely shoot in very low light, with high ISOs, but I had been doing just that the evening before. In my rush to get untangled and take advantage of the view, I didn’t check my camera’s settings. So the ISO was WAY high, and the shutter speed was WAY high, which accounts for the high-key look of the images. Still, that whole “wild stallion on a ridge against big, Western-sky clouds” thing. For the purposes of this blog, they work. 🙂

We like rising clouds out here because (a lot of times) they rise into thunderheads and promise rain – and sometimes even deliver. These (pictured) didn’t … here. Somewhere, maybe. Somewhere, hopefully. Sometime here, hopefully soon.

Dust rising

6 06 2023

Highlighting our need for rain, Storm’s band wanders to better grazing after drinking at a pond, raising dust just during their slow mosey. We did get a little rain, but while much of Colorado is apparently rejoicing in a wet spring, we’ve mostly missed that rain.

Head to tail

5 06 2023

Not to mention neverending tail flips.

Summer shining

4 06 2023

‘Tis the season for the little buggies.

And frequent head shaking to get rid of them.

Mountains to rimrocks

3 06 2023

Mountains and desert and mustang and wildflowers and grass all in one image.


Little dinosaur

2 06 2023

I *think* this is a collared lizard, but its coloration is so different that I’m not completely sure. Maybe it’s a female? It has a touch of turquoise at its throat, and the size is the same as other collared lizards I’ve seen, but it’s certainly unique.

After skittering out from under my hiking feet, it rested in the shade of a juniper tree for a fair bit of time and allowed me several moments of clicking with the hope of getting at least one in-focus image. This is a vertical crop of a horizontal original frame, and with the long lens, I was well back from it.

It cannot be said that I know a thing about reptiles, but I adore these lizards as much as our little “horned” friends!

Flash in the blue

1 06 2023

Flash proves to be an excellent wildflower model. 🙂

Larkspur, the blue flowers, are toxic to cattle, “and rarely horses,” according to Colorado State University. Flash and his mates seemed to relish eating the flowers.

According to South Dakota State University, “(low) larkspurs are palatable to cattle and contain high levels of alkaloids, making them especially toxic. Because of this, larkspurs cause the second highest deaths in livestock from poisonous plants across the western United States. Five pounds of larkspur consumed within an hour is a lethal dose for a 1,000-pound cow.”

We almost always have larkspur in the spring. Fortunately, at our elevations, it doesn’t seem to be so thick that it’s an issue.

Randomly, our wild onion also is blooming like crazy right now. Despite the interest of a couple of friends, the horses do NOT eat it and therefore do NOT suffer from “onion breath.” 🙂

Desert lilies

31 05 2023

The sego lilies are blooming! Every spring, I eagerly await the blooming of these delicate desert bloomers, and every spring, I try to capture their particular beauty. Good thing there are numerous opportunities while following the mustangs!

I kid you not: This year, they started blooming on Memorial Day.

A little yellow gold

30 05 2023

This area of Spring Creek Basin where I found Corazon and his family recently was booming with yellow prince’s plume blooms, but though I tried fairly hard for a little while, Corazon wasn’t terribly interested in posing with the golden glory. He and his band members were much too interested in seeking out and eating the yummy Indian ricegrass, a cool-season grass that’s growing like gangbusters right now. It must be sweet and tasty because all the horses love it!

Not forgotten

29 05 2023

This wasn’t my first welcome back to Spring Creek Basin after my return from Texas, but it was maybe the third. Pretty nice of Buckeye and his ladies and baby girl to greet me at the west boundary.

Today, Memorial Day, is more than a start-of-summer celebratory holiday and third day of the three-day weekend. It’s the day we as a nation remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending America’s freedoms. A hope is that it can be also a day to put aside political and ideological differences and remember what unites us all: love of independence, freedom and family, our unique way of life. Our service men and women who died protecting the freedoms of this country, our diversity and pride in what makes us Americans, made their personal sacrifices so we can enjoy all of the above.

As we celebrate, don’t forget those sacrifices … and what unites these United States.