Finding Bones

26 04 2009

The wind and dust and threat of rain and press of people conspired to send me home yesterday. While I’m glad for an actual day of rest, where do I most want to be right now??

But that’s beside the point of this post. It was so hard to go through the photos I took of Poco and Roach leading up to finding Bones and her foal that I realized this needed to be a single post. No rhyme or reason to it, but that’s the way of it.

Poco and Roach were on a ridge not far off the road basically southwest of the double ponds when I saw them last Saturday. I couldn’t see Bones, but that’s not unusual given the terrain. However, knowing how close she was to foaling and because of her injury, I had to check.

Poco

Poco

Poco on the ridge as I walked up; Roach was to the right. McKenna Peak looming large in the background with the unnamed promontory at left. (Secret message: That’s NOT timothy in his mouth!)

Roach

Roach

Big red ‘n handsome.

Pyramid peak

Pyramid peak

Roach’s McKenna Peak glamour shot.

Standing steady

Standing steady

There was no room to go past them on the ridge itself, so I dropped down below them. You can see the curious tilt of Roach’s head and cock of his ear, but he never moved until I was farther up the ridge behind him. Then he turned around to face me.

Postcard perfect

Postcard perfect

But before I turned around to take this picture, I looked over the edge of the ridge … and did not find Bones. Thank goodness for image stabilization lenses because the hands that took this were not terribly steady.

Pointing the way

Pointing the way

This picture of Poco now haunts me because I seem to see by his body language that he was already grieving. When I was there, I tried to look for any sign of that, but I just couldn’t comprehend. It turns out that he was pointing the way.

I left Poco and Roach and ended up walking most of the length of the ridge, which, though considerably lower than Knife Edge, is about as blade-narrow as they come. When I was about three-quarters of the way back to the stallions, they were lower on the east side of the ridge, then ran down into the little valley below. I sat down to see what they would do, having already had the idea to stick with them for a while to see if Bones appeared or if they would lead me to her. They disappeared down in an arroyo, and just as I was thinking they had been down there an awfully long time, they climbed up the other side, where they turned around to watch me from the edge of some trees.

So I walked down and through the arroyo – just in case. It took them so long to drink because they had to sip muddy water as it seeped up into the cups made by their hooves. I went up on the other side, found a fallen tree and sat down because the boys hadn’t moved. They watched me just a few minutes more, then Poco took off again up-valley at what seemed to be a determined walk. I let them go a ways, then followed at the west side of the valley. Poco stopped again and turned to face me. Roach stopped near him.

Two mark the spot

Two mark the spot

Do you see the raven? Bones and her foal were almost directly behind Poco and Roach – I just didn’t know it yet.

I looked around some through the trees on “my” side of the valley and found nothing. Poco hadn’t moved, so I sat down under a tree across from them to see what he might do next. He didn’t move. After awhile (no idea how long?) I got up and walked past them and farther along on that little “hump” that you can see behind them where the raven is. I was going to go on farther up-valley, but I happened to look back toward them and saw movement off to the side, which I immediately pounced on as the flicker of a foal’s ears, low to the ground. But when I walked back, a great golden eagle flew away up the arroyo … and I knew.

And there they were, right behind where Poco stopped.

Poco and Roach

Poco and Roach

Poco and Roach greeted me again when I left Bones, and I cried and told them how sorry I was at the loss of their girl and her baby.

Wow. This is hard.

I like to think her “better place” is exactly where she is.


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3 responses

28 04 2009
bloodtruffle

Bones!

I’ve been watching your blog to see what happened to her. Her grey coat in the beautiful pictures you took of her caught my eye and she quickly became one of my favorites. (I love them all, though! They all have such great coloring, and they all seem like intelligent, good-spirited animals.)

I’m so sorry for you and the herd’s loss. Hopefully, the horses guiding you to her, gave, if anything, some closure.

28 04 2009
TJ

Thanks so much for your comments. She had such a wonderful spirit, as they all do. Her boys are still watching over her … like me, I guess, they’re not quite ready to let go just yet.
TJ

2 05 2009
Lynn Bauer

She will always be there – with them – with the wind… she was brilliant, beautiful and we’ll miss her, but she’ll never quite be gone…
L & K

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