Love and light

19 11 2008
First light

First light

It comes a little after 7 a.m. now, that gentle, golden light that slides over ridges and slips around hills and envelops you like a caress. If the horses are relieved to see it morning after morning, they give no indication. It finds them, warms them; it marks the next day in Spring Creek Basin. I can think of few better places to enjoy the coming of dawn. Above are horses in Grey/Traveler’s band: Iya and Houdini, Traveler in the background (farther away than he looks), Jif, Two Boots and Twister.

What scary monsters are yonder?

What scary monsters are yonder?

Very close to the main entrance to the herd area here and not long after my visit with Grey’s band, still fairly early. Chrome was fascinated by something in the near distance and couldn’t take his eyes off it. Duke came to offer support.  What scary monster could it have been that eventually sent the boys all running to catch up with their mates down at the pond?

Ooooh ... scary!

Ooooh ... scary!

Go ahead, give it a chuckle. Two little baby boys, just up from morning naps, were the “monsters” Chrome was so worried about.

Snack time

Snack time

Not much longer, and Debbie and Kathleen arrived and we drove around to watch the horses in Steeldust’s band from the road near the catchment.

Another nap

Another nap

Pinon and Storm laid down for another nap, surrounded by family.

Last ones standing

Last ones standing

While we watched and Debbie communicated with them, almost all the other horses laid down, too. It would be a shorter list to name who did NOT lie down. In this photo, you can see Kestrel, Sundance and Hollywood lying down. Butch also is back there lying down. Even Steeldust laid down.

And even Duke

And even Duke

Even vigilant Duke laid down for a rest. Both Chrome and Hook also eventually laid down. It was fantastic to see them so relaxed, even with visitors.

Wild light

Wild light

Evening light here. I took Debbie and Kathleen up on Round Top to give them an overview of the whole basin. On the way there, we saw Bounce, Alegre and Gaia. We saw the pintos from the summit, as well as Bruiser and Cinch and, close by, Ty. We saw Poco, Bones and Roach from the loop road. We saw a large (20?) herd of mule deer and one beautiful young buck near Lizard Mesa (Sunday was the last day of the fourth and last hunting season). We had seen Steeldust’s band from the summit of Round Top, too, and we were looking for them on our way toward closing the loop – voila. We came up over a slight rise that blocked our view, and there they were, just above the dugout intersection. The picture above represents what we saw. The horses were very relaxed and all very close together. Beautiful horses in beautiful light.

Asleep on their feet

Asleep on their feet

Piedra and Baylee are rarely far from each other these days. Did you spot Hollywood in the previous picture? He’s right up in the middle of the band. At left is bachelor Aspen.

Three grey boys

Three grey boys

Hook, left, Chrome and Kreacher. Kathleen and Hook took an instant liking to each other.

Bachelor 4

Bachelor 4

All calm on the eastern front. Chrome, left, Kreacher, Hook and Duke.

Last light

Last light

Gorgeous, yeah? Ember and Luna, Storm and Alpha.

Zzzzzzzzz

Zzzzzzzzz

Storm-baby was sound asleep almost the whole time we were with the band – probably because the other horses were so relaxed no one raised an alarm.

Time to get up!

Time to get up!

Ha! I’m not sure I’ve captured a funnier face than the one Ember is making here! Storm had awakened, and she was checking him out as he scratched and stretched. He was in no mood to get up, but he finally did.

Now what?

Now what?

After the nap – now what trouble do you suppose they can get into? Tomorrow’s another day …!

The band crossed the road to the side we were on, then went down the hill to graze into the night.


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5 responses

20 11 2008
Lynn Bauer

WOW!! Just WOW!! No wonder you love them so!! Still working on the “map project” – it’s going great!! Will you be able to go out throughout the winter?
Lynn and Kathy

21 11 2008
TJ

Hey!
I’m hopeless in love with them. 🙂 Going out during the winter will depend on the weather. Last winter, as much snow as we had, I was out every month but January. I’m just going to play it by ear and see what happens. Also, they’re pretty relaxed with me, but I want to make sure they don’t have extra stress during those cold months.
I’m so excited about your map! It will be a good winter project for you both! It will be interesting to see if the horses repeat their “patterns” of last year. They seem to be in slightly different areas this fall. Always learning something new about them!
TJ

23 11 2008
Lynn Bauer

TJ-
No shame in lovin’ critters! Sometimes, they make more sense to us than people! I know how much our kids (Molly and MacKenzie) mean to us – they are always there, always loyal and loving. Hey, question for you. Are we right in thinking the main “groups” are: Grey’s, Steeldust’s, the Bachelors and the Pintos? Do David and Shadow hang out pretty much by themselves and about where do you usually find the new mares?
Lynn and Kathy

24 11 2008
TJ

Lynn and Kathy,
Animals have ALWAYS made more sense to me than most people! Ha! These are the main groups: Grey/Traveler’s; Steeldust’s (which includes his family band as well as the Bachelor 7 and Hollywood’s little break-out band); Bounce’s; Poco, Bones and Roach (two stallions and a mare); Seven’s; Bruiser and Cinch (two pinto bachelors); David and Shadow (bay stallion and black yearling filly); the pinto band, which includes four stallions (power may have shifted from Copper to Corazon as of this weekend); and the new mares. I saw everybody this weekend but David and Shadow, which now makes THEM the ones I haven’t seen for a while (hint there). David stole Shadow when the bachelors kicked Bruiser out of the band earlier this fall, and yes, they’re sticking to themselves, mostly in the southern/southwestern end, I think. The new mares are totally staying up in the north – I’ve been finding them in those hills the last couple of weekends. They were way up high, east of Spring Creek Canyon (the trap site) on Saturday, and they were down a little westish of the north road Sunday.
TJ

24 11 2008
Lynn Bauer

Great! Thanks! After I asked the question, I went back to your “who’s who” and tried to make a list. Almost got it right. We redid the map from a little higher altitude so we could bring in where we thought the pintos, David and Shadow and the new mares would be. This is going to be fun for us! Would it be OK with you to ask questions via your e-mail address, rather than here?
Lynn and Kathy

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