‘Its meaning is Earth’

5 05 2009
Houdini and Terra

Houdini and Terra

A name for Houdini and Grey/Traveler’s daughter didn’t come easily.

Mama and baby

Mama and baby

She’s a stunning little girl and Traveler’s first baby since his return to Spring Creek Basin. In fact, she’s the only (so far) foal I can confirm is his offspring. I kinda stumbled on the name Terra, but when I read the definition – “its meaning is Earth” – I knew it was the one.

Mama and daughters

Mama and daughters

New big sister Iya looked like she didn’t quite know what to think of this little creature that suddenly appeared with the family.

Curious

Curious

Twister was very curious, too.

Two Boots and Jif were content to stay close to Traveler – as was I.

Twister

Twister

Cute ‘n’ curious.

Roach was still circling Steeldust’s band. I came upon Kootenai and Mona … and Kreacher … and Poco?! just off the road by the double ponds a little later while I was looking for Bounce, Alegre and Gaia.

Together ... alone

Together ... alone

There’s a wide but fairly shallow arroyo between Kreacher and the girls and Poco. The girls eventually crossed the arroyo back to the left, which Kreacher wasn’t particularly wild about.

Wait for me

Wait for me

Poco trotted after them, but soon he’d come back.

Git

Git

Kreacher hot on Poco’s heels. If it looks like he was running flat out, he was.

Fightin over little ol us?

Fightin over little ol us?

The girls watched for a couple of minutes before they took off.

Coming

Coming

Followed by Kreacher …

Me, too

Me, too

… followed by Poco – again.

I continued on down and up onto the roller-coaster ridge, where I spotted Seven, his girls and his baby boy just below the ridge on the northwestern end.

Nap

Nap

Ze naps while Seven grazes nearby. Baby picked his head up for just a moment, but otherwise, he was flat out.

Up

Up

Roja might have thought Seven was too close to her baby because she moseyed over between them. Seven didn’t seem concerned. Molly was a little farther to the right, and boy is she shedding. I took a couple of pix of her, too, but she hardly lifted her head from her grazing. I was sitting up on the ridge.

Roja suddenly got really nervous, which made ME nervous because she knew I was up there in plain sight … She ran away from Seven and Molly – Ze right at her side – and crossed the arroyo. Seven went after her, but Molly ignored both of them. Then I realized what was bothering them: Here came Mona and Kootenai, racing west along the base of Knife Edge, followed by Kreacher, followed by Poco! They totally ignored Seven’s band and kept right on going. They eventually ended up over on the east-west hill, where they passed below Grey/Traveler. At some point even later, Comanche and Mouse got Roach cornered down in the arroyo, and he decided enough was enough. He and Poco ended up back together up on the crest of the hill.

I eventually found Bounce and the girls – no foal – so I went on around to where I had seen Duke, Raven and Corona north of the second intersection, and found Lynn and Kathy watching them! We talked a bit, they went back to the west-side road to watch the bands, and I headed out to take pix of baby Corona. But by the time I got going, the horses had moved out of sight. I ended up on a trail through the trees above the road, but then I saw them down below the road, quite a bit farther away. We had talked about where they were getting water; it turned out they went all the way back down to Spring Creek to drink. By the time I got down there, they were coming back from the arroyo.

Mama kisses

Mama kisses

Raven, as all the mares – even the first-timers – is proving to be an excellent mother.

Baby kisses

Baby kisses

The light was pretty high and harsh by this time.

What a sweetheart!

What a sweetheart!

Pretty big girl. I’m going to go with a Sunday, April 26, birthday for the girl.

Instant family

Instant family

Did Duke find Raven before or after she had her foal?

Corona

Corona

She’s a cutie, all right. Still not one hundred percent sure of her color, and we may have to wait a little bit to know more. Maybe roan (?). Maybe dun … maybe palomino. My family has a 24-year-old mare at home that is dusky palomino in her summer coat and almost white in her winter coat.

The rest of the day was just watching. Some of the stallion drama calmed down toward the end of the day. Hollywood chased Aspen away, but then he had to squabble with Chrome and Hook (which involved a funny little twist on “ring around Piedra, Sage and Baylee” with Hook) to assert his position.

Saturday – rain. It stopped raining long enough for me to slip into the basin and find Alegre – spoiler again – no foal. The girl has to be close. She has a great big belly and for about the first time is looking uncomfortable lugging around that weight.

Bounce

Bounce

They were back by Lizard Mesa.

Alegre and Gaia

Alegre and Gaia

They followed Bounce out of the trees to graze on the yummy grass back in that area.

A good roll

A good roll

What must that baby think?

Rest

Rest

She had to rest between rolls, poor thing.

Up we go

Up we go

Gaia seems to be intrigued by how hard it is for Mama to get up.

Heave!

Heave!

Oh … one last oomph, and the girl was back on her feet.

The spot

The spot

Then Alegre patiently waited (rested) while Gaia rolled in the exact same spot.

And shes up!

And shes up!

When Gaia got to her feet – after she rolled all the way over, then all the way back over, then all the way BACK over – she immediately went to bucking and rearing and kicking.

Airborn

Airborn

Mama is not supremely impressed … but I was!

And that’s the last I know. I saw Grey/Traveler’s band, Hollywood’s band (and Aspen, Chrome and Hook were back with them) and Seven’s band on my way out – oh, and I had seen Duke, Raven and Corona again in a green meadow by the second intersection on my way in. I made it to the county road in the rain. Not following my own advice, I know, but it was worth it to get a glimpse of the most-close-to-due girl. Surely by next weekend??

Just Alegre, Jif (due date unknown) and Mahogany (mid-May) to go.





Getting caught up

3 05 2009

That’s the bait, but the truth is, so much has happened, I don’t think I can possibly catch up on all the details. So I’ll hit the highs, and at this time of year, that means babies. It also means the stallions are restless. Everybody’s on the move.

Roja and Ze

Roja and Ze

How far behind am I? This was taken three weekends ago.

Seven, Roja and Ze, Molly

Seven, Roja and Ze, Molly

Proud papa stands guard.

Ze and Daddy

Ze and Daddy

Are they cute or what? Look how stout Ze is. This was taken the day after the first two photos.

Last weekend was mostly a visit of observation. I fully expected new foals, and the horses proved once again that I am not privy to “pony time.” But here are a couple of glimpses.

Bounce

Bounce

Ever-photogenic black beauty.

Gaia and Alegre

Gaia and Alegre

Look at the tummy on mama. Spoiler: Not yet.

Kreacher and girls

Kreacher and girls

They’re at the pond below the roller-coaster ridge; I was up on the ridge. Who’s missing? This was my second sighting of the band that weekend, but I hadn’t been able to find them at all the previous weekend. I think I wrote in an earlier post that they went to the saddle between Round Top and Flat Top, where they eventually met up with David and Shadow. I tried to find them to see if they’d lead me to Raven, but they disappeared. The day before this I had seen Duke. A couple of days later, Lynn and Kathy spotted him with Raven and her baby, Corona.

I posted the pic of Raven and Corona from a quick after-work trip last week, but I didn’t get too close to ’em, and I’ll have some better pix from this past weekend. So moving on, here’s your first look at Piedra and her baby, born last Wednesday and first spotted by Lynn and Kathy, here on their vacation!

Piedra and Sage

Piedra and Sage

What an upstanding young man! Lynn and Kathy gave him the appropriate name Sage, and first-time mom Piedra is proving an excellent mother. She’s going to have to be – this youngster is going to keep her on her toes! His little tail was constantly twitching, swishing, switching.

Together again

Together again

Two for one: Guess who persevered? At some point, Hollywood managed to get rid of Aspen and get Piedra and Baylee back. Hollywood is Sage’s daddy.

Baby and Mama

Baby and Mama

To take the first two pictures in this series, I was sitting on the edge of the arroyo across from the finger hills, not far down from the road. Piedra wanted to come back up onto a flat area out of the arroyo, but Hollywood was quite insistent against that idea. He was oddly agitated even before this, when I first saw them and chatted with Lynn and Kathy about the day’s goings-on – some of which I’ll get to in a minute. So Piedra finally started walking the other way, in the bottom of the arroyo, toward Steeldust’s band but also toward the bachelors Aspen, Chrome and Hook. I went back up to the road to get a broader look, and the next thing I knew, Piedra and baby Sage were walking right toward me. Aspen and the boys were coming, but closer was …

Hollywood and Roach

Hollywood and Roach

Your eyes don’t deceive you; that’s Roach. He was wreaking havoc running around and around Steeldust’s band – and had been all day, Lynn and Kathy said. He wasn’t all that far out of his home territory, but considering that I’ve only rarely seen him out of his home territory, he may as well have been on the moon.

Chrome and Aspen

Chrome and Aspen

But these boys and Hook were on the way, and when they got close, Roach went back to his vigil around Steeldust’s band.

Jumble

Jumble

There’s a lot going on here. Roach – background – circling Steeldust’s band. First Sgt. Comanche – broadside at right – is circling between him and the band. Lt. Mouse – facing me at right – is moving Kestrel, Mahogany and Pinon back to the main band.

Roach and Comanche

Roach and Comanche

My experience with Roach has been with a very calm, laid-back boy. I’ve never seen him so frantic. Poco hadn’t yet left their home territory, but he would the next day.

Roach

Roach

I was sitting on the ground at a sort of confluence of arroyos while all this was going on. The band was across a wide-ish arroyo to my right, and there was a smaller arroyo in front of me as I took this picture. Comanche had chased Roach across the main arroyo but not followed him, and at this point, Roach was coming toward me, then went to my left, where he stopped … then turned around and went back the way he had come. I hated to see him so wound up.

End of day

End of day

And with this image, I’ll end this post, though it wasn’t quite the end of the day. When Roach went back around, he crossed the arroyo and ran between me and the band, which effectively sent the band swirling around in the other direction. They crossed that arroyo and went up toward the road. Then they came back to me. Then they swirled around away again. Roach was still with them the next morning, but Poco ended up following Kreacher, Mona and Kootenai to the area from near the double ponds (!) … and after some more chaos, they reunited. They were together up on the east-west hill the last I saw them.

To come, I’ll have images of Duke, Raven and Corona, as well as the newest member of the Spring Creek Basin family: Houdini and Grey/Traveler’s stunning daughter, Terra.





Happy birthday, Spook!

3 05 2009
Spook and Reya

Spook and Reya

Birthday wishes are a little late for  spunky pinto girl Spook, whose birthday was May 1. She shares a birthday with my brother (happy birthday, Jeff!) and with another little baby you’ll meet soon.

Spook

Spook

Baby Spook

Baby Spook

Spook, Kiowa and Bruiser

Spook, Kiowa and Bruiser

They grow up so fast, don’t they?

Happy birthday, spirited girl!