Besty girls

7 05 2021

Even grazing, Temple and Madison are never far from each other.





Light walker

6 05 2021

The heart of the wild, in glorious sunset light just after the sun dropped under a cloud lingering from rain much earlier. We’ll take all we can get (the rain AND the light!).





Spring flamboyance

5 05 2021

Kudos to eagle-(lizard?!-)eyed friend Pat Amthor for spotting this collared lizard on a rock as we drove by on a gorgeous afternoon in Spring Creek Basin! And she didn’t see it from this angle; she saw it from the left (I’ve backed up here when she shouted “lizard”!), where only the head was visible – almost the same color as the rock.

I LOVE these bright, awesome little dinosaurs!

P.S. We got around 0.21 inch of rain early Monday morning. The green is noticeable, and the wildflowers loved the infusion of moisture. 🙂

P.P.S. I’ve been trying to attach the pic to this post for hours without success; hopefully WordPress or my Internet will allow it in the morning, when I’ll try again.





Getting the gleam

4 05 2021

The last time Tenaz appeared on the blog, he was looking a bit rough, in the throes of the latter stages of shedding his winter coat for his summer shorts. So when I saw him the other evening and was practically squinting in the glare of his shine from the angle of the setting sun, I set about trying to capture the full gloriousness of his bayness (!).

But while they are looking fabulous as the days warm suddenly into 80-degree territory, they’re also almost frantically hunting the elusive green (it’s not necessarily elusive … there’s just not a lot of it (… yet?)). So there’s kind of a whole lotta domesticity going on in the basin these days while the horses, well, simply graze. (In other words, he wasn’t quite willing to strike a “handsome-mustang” pose!)

This area of the basin is cut by several shallow arroyos that run down to join the Spring Creek arroyo, so thinking I’d try something different, I stepped into it and tried to photograph Tenaz with the band through his legs in the background.

He did seem at least slightly interested to know why I was suddenly half my normal height. 🙂

But it didn’t stop him from seeking the green!





Moving from green to green

3 05 2021

Skywalker was chasing the green this evening.

The mustangs are fairly single-minded about their grazing and foraging. As they’re snipping the good bits, they’re looking for their next spot of green, and on and on. They’re finding it, and most of them are pretty well shed out.





‘Desert Chrome’

2 05 2021

‘Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West’

(Photo courtesy of Kathryn Wilder)

Kathryn Wilder‘s debut book, “Desert Chrome,” will be published in mid-May by Torrey House Press!

Longtime readers will recognize Kat’s name as an advocate for Spring Creek Basin mustangs. In this vulnerable, deeply touching and wide-ranging memoir, she recounts her life’s journey that eventually led her to Disappointment Valley and Spring Creek Basin – among earlier and parallel events that shaped her among heartbreak, water and wilderness. About the mustangs, she writes about getting to know them and the great strides we’ve made in the management of our herd with the use of PZP.

Kirkus Reviews calls it “testimony to the healing power of wildness” and “a spirited and impassioned chronicle.” And it is, without a doubt, all of that.

Suzanne Roy, fierce director of the American Wild Horse Campaign, wrote: “Kat Wilder’s beautifully written memoir takes us on a journey of a life lived on the move, full of love, loss and searching, finally finding peace among a herd of mustangs in Colorado’s magnificent Disappointment Valley. Wilder’s insight into the wild horses, why they’re worth saving and how to save them, will be of interest to anyone concerned with preserving the West’s last remaining wild spaces and the wild animals that inhabit them. A must read.”

Pre-order the book from Torrey House Press, your local independent bookstore or from Amazon.

Kat will be doing numerous readings, both virtual – Garcia Street Books in Santa Fe, and Maria’s Bookshop and Cortez Public Library here in Southwest Colorado – and in person at Sherbino Theater in Ridgway and Entrada Institute in Torrey, Utah.

Here are some particular deets:

Maria’s virtual event for “Desert Chrome” will start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20, on Zoom and Facebook Live. Check Maria’s events calendar page for details.

Kat’s first live reading will be from about 6 to about 7:45 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at The Livery in Norwood. This is basically our backyard! Head over to Between the Covers’ Facebook page to find out more.

The Cortez Public Library will have an online reading with Kat starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 26.

On Thursday, June 10, Ridgway’s Sherbino Theater will host Kat for a live reading from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Visit the website for tickets, on sale 30 days before the event. Ridgway’s also fairly local to us, and several mustang friends call it home.

If you’re in Torrey, Utah, on Saturday, June 26, stop by the Entrada Institute for a live reading.

Be sure to find and follow Kat on Facebook to keep up with other events as they’re scheduled, and I’ll post reminders about the above readings close to their happening dates.

(Kathryn Wilder’s “Desert Chrome” with Chrome’s newest grandson, Jasper, with Brumley Point and Temple Butte in the background; Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area, Disappointment Valley, Southwest Colorado)




May Day birthday

1 05 2021

Happy birthday to my brother, Jeff!





Hot to trot

30 04 2021

Hayden makes a beeline for his mares as they head to high ground away from a visiting stallion.

He’s starting to look pretty sleek!





Au naturel

29 04 2021

It doesn’t look like it here (Cassidy Rain did NOT hang around to model her beautiful self with the wind screaming at us), but this was one of the windiest days in the basin this spring (and as windy as it always is in the spring, and as WINDY as it has been even the last few days, that’s saying something). I got a kick out of a pic I saw recently of a Quarter Horse, posed saddled and bridled, on what the photographer said had been a windy day in Texas. They used two cans of hair spray to keep the horse’s mane neat for the photo.

Well, our secret mustang stylists don’t use hair spray, but there’s lots of wind spraying about … and I think it makes for the most LOVELY horses imaginable! 🙂 And fortunately, they’re finding wet spots in which to drink and roll. … And do you see the green? Yes, look hard … but it’s there.

(Note: I greatly respect the photographer mentioned above. It was just a funny thing to think about for someone (moi) who photographs way more mustangs than perfectly coiffed domestic horses. :))





A little wet, a little gold

28 04 2021

We got a little rain yesterday and last night. 🙂

It’s hard to say how much. After it rained in one location, I went for a drive, and within 100 yards, the road was bone dry. … How does that HAPPEN?!

Just a couple of hours later, I had to hustle out of the basin, white-knuckling the steering wheel, as the spatter of damp dirt against the underside of the Jeep competed with the squeak of the windshield wipers.

As I neared one band, we had a little of this happening:

Before I got out to the horses, it was pretty well faded, but a little red-gold made up for the lack of a pot. 😉 (Interestingly, the rainbow is highlighting the edge of Knife Edge, seen from the southish. The far heavily-treed ridge is where I was the other day.)

Always glowing, our little Tesora girl (and still shedding, as it turns out!). 🙂