Anticipation

25 06 2009

Almost three weeks ago, I was in the basin. Almost on the eve of returning, here are some photos from that last trip to whet your apetite – and mine!

Sharing a scratch

Sharing a scratch

Mona and Kootenai and their dashing beau were right by Filly Peak – again.

Kreacher

Kreacher

The dashing beau.

Ladies and the lad

Ladies and the lad

Looking sort of east-northeast from the north side of Filly Peak and the road.

Spots in a sea of green

Spots in a sea of green

Cinch and Bruiser came up to the north country to have a chat with the bachelor 3 – Aspen, Chrome and Hook – and possibly to get some water from the last pond on the place (which is now dry).

Bachelor 3

Bachelor 3

Cheeky boys: Chrome, Hook and Aspen

Friendly

Friendly

Aspen and Hook

Looking out

Looking out

From beyond the pond – which is unseen in the foreground – looking westward toward the heart of the basin. Hollywood’s band – with Poco and Roach – are at left, and Steeldust’s are at right. They’ve left the pond and are heading back toward the road and the open areas to graze. You can see the doubletrack that leads from the road to the pond.

Once red, now grey

Once red, now grey

Storm-chaser has mostly shed into manly grey. That’s Comanche at left.

Storm spots

Storm spots

On the way home, the spotted ponies were visible from the county road. Visible above are all the critters save the two bay solids: Copper and Mesa

Spotted lasses

Spotted lasses

Reya (2) and Spook (1) and Copper in the background.

Dark or darker

Dark or darker

Ty of the unknown color.

Can’t wait to get back.

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New name

22 06 2009

Little boy brown has a name! Thanks to members of the Four Corners Back Country Horsemen for naming Two Boots’ colt … drum roll, please … Cuatro!

Can you see why?

All four!

All four!

Four bright whites

Four bright whites

Is he cute or what?

Cuatro and Two Boots

Cuatro and Two Boots

Baby and mama with some colorful globe mallow thrown in for good measure.

Cuatro was born – surprise! – the day of the wild horse count by the 4CBCH – also attended by three members of the Mesa Verde Back Country Horsemen, so it was only fitting that they came up with his name. Very simple; very perfect!





Advisory board meeting

22 06 2009

Colorado photographer Carol Walker attended the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Program Advisory Board meeting June 15 in Sacramento. Follow this link to read her blog post about her take on the meeting and the statement she made during public comments: http://wildhoofbeats.blogspot.com/

I’m so discouraged by this information, I just don’t even know what to say about it. We can fight irrational nonsense with science and experience and common sense, but this is … irrational nonsense! That our government would engage in such discussions – in secret – may not be surprising (and how awful is that), but it just defies everything Americans have said we want for our wild horses – their well-being and freedom. Surely we owe them that.

Check this one, too: http://americanherds.blogspot.com/





Kick in the gut

13 06 2009

Well, if this isn’t a disturbing development to find out about on my first morning on vacation.

http://www.conquistadorprogram.org/blm__court_documents_on_wild_horses





Peek-a-boo

10 06 2009
Whisper follows Gaia

See Whisper follow Gaia

See Whisper annoy Gaia

See Whisper annoy Gaia

See Whisper look innocent

See Whisper look innocent

See Whisper act shy

See Whisper act shy

See Whisper love Gaia!

See Whisper love Gaia!

Big sister is SO good with little brother, and mama Alegre takes full advantage of Gaia as babysitter.

Just like first-time mom Piedra has already learned that Baylee makes a great auntie to her little boy!

Baylee and Sage

Baylee and Sage

It was a windy day, and I just love her tousled look here.

Roach and Poco are still hanging out with Hollywood’s band as their adopted family. I won’t be sorry to see it last awhile. They’re seeing some new country, and they’re not alone.

Raven and Corona

Raven and Corona

Had a bit of a scare Sunday when artist Karen Keene Day and I found Duke alone and obviously searching for Raven and the baby, but on our way out, we saw them through the binoculars, reunited. I’m happy to see these ponies sticking together as a family, too. Mama Raven has relaxed her high-alert mode, and during this visit, she was super about showing off her treasure! If you look past the obvious color difference (!), don’t they look so similar!? 

I’m sure sorry about the vague and limited reports of the ponies lately, but I’ve been crazy busy, and now I’m going on vacation – a much-needed vacation to family and horses I can touch any time I want. 🙂 I’ll miss the Spring Creek Basin gang, and I’ll try to post some pix while I’m away. We’re still waiting on Jif to deliver her bundle of joy … I’m not so worried about Kestrel … but I think we might get a double surprise in the not-too-distant future.

And Two Boots’ boy has a new name! But so I don’t spill the beans locally, I’ll wait till after the Four Corners Back Country Horsemen’s announcement of the name at their meeting before I break the news here. I think you’ll like it. 🙂





Checkup and another surprise

3 06 2009

Rain kept me from visiting the basin as much as usual the past couple of weeks, and life has kept me from posting recently.

I made a very quick, short trip to the basin last-last weekend – almost got stuck but didn’t (and no, those ruts by the V arroyo aren’t mine) – and took pix only of Roach, which probably sets some kind of record. My main objective was to check on Two Boots’ baby, but as it turned out, rained chased me away before I could find them. Did see Steeldust’s band with Mouse and Comanche, Aspen, Chrome and Hook nearby, Bounce’s band (only Whisper appeared to see me, but he didn’t give me away), Hollywood’s band – with Poco and Roach – and Kreacher and the girls.

Fast forward to this past weekend. Rain again so I waited then hiked. Far. Long. Sunshine appeared between waves of rain, then dark skies again. Saw Duke, Raven and Corona up in the north hills and Kreacher and the dunnies by the water catchment. All the other ponies were back in the east pocket … including the surprise.

Some pix in random order:

Three generations

Three generations

Houdini and her baby and her OTHER baby and HER baby.

Two Boots and her colt

Two Boots and her colt

Just for fun …

Before names

Before names

I dug this photo out of my 2007 archives. That’s Houdini and Two Boots from April 22, 2007, when they were with Junior, before the roundup. Two Boots was just a day or two old there, I figured.

2Bs boy

2Bs boy

Two weeks old.

Hello, silver

Hello, silver

Jif, ever-expanding, was playing mountain goat up on the hill in front of Grey/Traveler. He came around the hill and looked up – before I knew she was there – and that’s how I knew she was there. She didn’t come down, though, so a little later, he went around the other side and up, and pretty soon, here she came, back down to the meadow with the others.

Piedra and Sage

Piedra and Sage

Pretty girl and her little boy.

Gaia and Whisper

Gaia and Whisper

Pretty girl and her little brother.

When did my babies grow up into yearlings?! They all look so big … and more than one young lady was being investigated by the stallion of her band, who is NOT her daddy, biologically. How do they know?!

Did you notice the shift from sunshine to shade? Clouds moving in, thunder booming; time for the long walk back.

Another day, and I was back. Lotsa clouds early gave way – without raindrops – to lotsa blue sky over paradise. I didn’t find Grey/Traveler and his band, but the news was that Jif still hadn’t foaled. But it turned out to be better luck for getting pictures of our newest herd member.

Pied piper

Pied piper

Test your knowledge. The surprise is the wee-est in the middle.

Studly Seven

Studly Seven

 Have you made the ID now? Molly was VERY disinterested, but she finally stood for him.

Ze

Ze

Almost 2 months old now; what a handsome little bugger! 

Baby makes nine

Baby makes nine

I was in stealth mode because this band is one of the most wary (and rightfully so). Based on my feeling that the baby – a filly – was about a week old and basically confirmed by Seven breeding Molly on her foaling heat, I’m giving the foal a Memorial Day (May 25) birthday (which also happens to be the birthday of one of my uncles!). So I asked my dad, a 20-year Army veteran, to name her. Welcome to the world, Liberty. 🙂 (Is that not perfect?? Thanks, Dad!)

Sky ranger

Sky ranger

Seven could hear my camera shutter but wasn’t quite sure where it was coming from. Molly and Roja and the foals were down in a wide arroyo, browsing on greasewood.

By the way, Molly’s surprise comes from the fact that she got the PZP in 2007. Her foal Starla died in August 2008 (after the band was chased by that moron, but there’s no proof he had anything to do with it); she should not have had a foal this year. Ninety-percent effective, I believe?

Roach

Roach

Looking toward the band.

Poco

Poco

Round Top in the background.

Sage

Sage

He’s standing on the road; the Round Top intersection is to the left.

And that’s all I have for now. Haven’t had a close sighting of Duke, Raven and Corona for a while, so I’ll be looking for them. We’re down to just one pond holding water – east pocket. It’s very shallow, and it was clear Sunday, so the horses hadn’t been there recently.





PZP partnership in the Carson National Forest (NM)

2 06 2009

http://www.skymountainwild.org/PZP.html

The above link is to information about PZP being used for wild horses in the Carson National Forest, our neighbors to the south. The below link is to an article linked at the bottom of the above Web page.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/carson-national-forest-Forest-first-to-use-contraceptive-on-wil

This is what it’s all about, from Sky Mountain Wild’s Web site: “The use of PZP represents a vast shift in the management of wild horses in New Mexico, as the previous method used to control population numbers has been the round-up and removal of wild horses from their territories.”

Note the photo by Claude Steelman, who was in Farmington to document the PZP administration.