Earlier

4 08 2009

So … I should have posted these pix before the ones of Seven’s band and Chipeta’s new colt, but I wasn’t going to post these until I could relate the story of the whole day … and it looks like it might be awhile before I can get to all the pix, so I hope you enjoy the teasers from last Friday until I can get to the rest. I have some really lovely images of stunning Corona and her mama, so I promise it will be worth the wait.

The water situation continues to depress me, especially after seeing all the nice ponds in Sand Wash Basin – with water, not just cracked, dry depressions in the ground where water should be. Grey/Traveler was being harassed, but the fact that it was by bachelor Chrome was just something I couldn’t do anything about. Kreacher picked up the chase at the end of the day, even leaving Mona and Kootenai far behind to keep up with Grey’s band and Chrome. Maybe they didn’t want any part of it, but they always followed. When Aspen was with his band Sunday, it was at a respectful distance, and the horses were relaxed and not moving too far.

But on to happiness. When I checked Wildcat Spring – yes, water – I spied Hollywood on a hill above me, just watching me. Ha. I haven’t spent much time exploring the hills in that area, so I walked on up. The ponies have a good network of trails up there. Poco and Roach are still with them; I did take pix but didn’t tweak any of them yet. It started sprinkling out of the clear blue sky – have you ever looked straight up and had rain falling into your eyeballs, looking silver against turquoise? There was a big cloud, but it wasn’t directly above me … and I learned something new a little later: It’s hard to plan for rain coming when you can’t see it coming. I found a seat under a juniper to hang out with the ponies for a bit.

Hollywood and girls and boy

Hollywood and girls and boy

The theme of “do you think you could stand just so” kinda started with Piedra acting shy behind this little bush. This was taken from one of their trails on the side of a hill looking across a sharp drainage. The spring is basically downhill and to my left. Poco and Roach were in the trees not too far up their hill.

Photos of the babies with their mamas are lovely and aww-inspiring, but I love to see the daddies interacting with their offspring.

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Sage walked over and stopped at a respectful distance. Piedra did comply with my photo direction here; she had just walked out of the frame to the left.

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Then Sage made his approach. At first, Hollywood acted a little annoyed and flattened his ears.

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Now look at his ears. He thinks there might be something interesting about the little mister.

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Then Hollywood decided Sage was quite sturdy enough to use him as a rubbing post!

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Sniffing him again. Check out the ears.

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Synchronicity of tails.

Do you love those misters?? 🙂

Edge of the world

Edge of the world

Piedra, Sage and Baylee. You can see part of the road in the distance and part of Filly Peak at far back right.

All together

All together

Including Hollywood in the shot, and you can see more of Filly Peak in the background … which should maybe more appropriately be called Humpback Hill?

Hollywood and Baylee

Hollywood and Baylee

This is looking almost west … like west-west-southwest-west … and the other end of Filly Peak.

Elder mister

Elder mister

He’s not very good at hide-n-seek. But he’s awfully cute. 🙂

It did rain then a bit later – heavier – but it was also still sort of sunny in most places. I could see the “haze” against the western hills outside the herd area that said rain, but it was weird. But the road was also starting to get gummy already by the time I got to the catchment! When I first got there, I saw Kreacher’s band and Cinch and Bruiser (as not-good as the water is, it’s better in the north than in the south, apparently), then Grey/Traveler’s out on the corral hill. Wouldn’t you know it, by the time I got to the flats below the catchment on my way out – in the rain – and did I mention the road was getting gummy and a hit to the brakes meant a bit of a slide in the wet before actual stoppage – they were right off the road? Confirmed that it was Chrome with them – and so Twister still away (and he’s with Hook, at least) – and no foal for le petite dun Jif. OK, OK, I’m leaving already. I went down the county road to see if I could catch enough of a glimpse of the pintos to see Chipeta and/or walk in to them – nada. A couple of hours later, it was sunny and warm and breezy enough, I decided to try the road into the basin again – no problem-o.

Horses and hills and sunshine and shadows

Horses and hills and sunshine and shadows

Left to right: Cuatro, Two Boots, Iya, Grey/Traveler, Jif. Houdini and Terra (still OK) were to the right. Chrome was to the left … and now for a wider view …

Love that after-rain light

Love that after-rain light

I know the horses are small, the land large, but can you make out who’s there? I love the graphic quality of these photos, by the way. This is looking sort of east-east-northeast-east. I don’t think there’s ever an easy single direction anywhere out there! They’re up in the area by the catchment – I think I took this from some point alongside Filly Peak – but although I have confirmed Kreacher and the mares drinking from the catchment troughs, I haven’t yet seen Grey’s band drinking there (and to go slightly off-topic for a minute, I did see Cinch and Bruiser very close to the troughs Sunday). Chrome was (mostly) dogging them pretty hard – he’s the grey at far left in these seemingly quiet moments – so they kept moving and moving – they went down off the “edge” south of the catchment to the flats, then ended up moving toward Spring Creek – north-northeastish. And in the foreground? Left to right: Kootenai, Kreacher and Mona. Just “above” Kootenai are Terra and Jif, and then Houdini out to the right. Horses to the left of Jif same as in the picture above this one.

From here I also spotted Steeldust’s band up in the north hills above the northwest road. Those ponies think they’re mountain goats lately. Driving out to see them, I found Duke, Raven and Corona! Now that was a hoped-for treat, having just seen Raven’s former band stallion and Corona’s likely daddy in Sand Wash Basin!

I hate to leave ya’ll hanging, but as of now, I have just one tweaked photo. Time … it’s all a matter of time. A full-time job, a taking-its-sweet-time computer. I’ll put up more soon; I promise.

Duke

Duke

This might be one of my favorite pix of the boy. Isn’t he handsome? They were watching Steeldust’s band in the trees up on the hill, so I walked way out around them to get better light.

And it’s late again …

I must have been happy to see my ponies – I took lots and lots of photos – I was on my second memory card before I left. Always great to visit other horses, but it’s great to be home. 🙂





Long time no see

4 08 2009

And a not-so-surprising (for the last couple of months, anyway) delivery.

The time just gets away from me trying to keep up with these ponies. There were a couple of highlights that came Sunday. Seven’s band made an appearance! They were at a distance, so I hiked in to them. It was so great to see Ze and Liberty – and their mamas and daddy, of course.

Liberty and Molly, Roja and Ze

Liberty and Molly, Roja and Ze

Look how tall Ze is. He’s almost as big as Roja. He’s almost 4 months old.

Seven

Seven

They drank from a wet spot in the arroyo between Lizard Mesa and Knife Edge, and then they were headed over the south-ish end of the east-west hill.

Ze, Raja and Seven

Ze, Raja and Seven

Ze looked a little “light” to me, and I wonder if he’s going to end up grey like daddy. He’s looking back at Molly and Liberty.

Molly and Liberty

Molly and Liberty

Old Molly doesn’t look too bad for an old gal, and Liberty looks just fine.

Are you wondering how our mamas-to-be are getting along? I’ll end your suspense; we’re waiting only for Jif now.

Chipeta and colt

Chipeta and colt

He’s a colt and pinto and cute as a button! Can’t be unhappy about a new life when you see all the long-legged cuteness right in front of you, but I’m pretty disappointed by whatever happened with the PZP in our “trial.”

Hey, little you

Hey, little you

As far as I know, this is Chipeta’s first foal.

Guardians

Guardians

Mesa, looking very scarred these days, Ty and the new mama and baby.

Kiowa and colt

Kiowa and colt

Here’s a look at Kiowa and her little mister – yep, confirmed as a colt. That’s Corazon at right and Copper in front of him. Speaking of scars, the boy with the heart on his side had some fresh wounds on his neck and inside his right hock. When I saw them, they were all peaceful under the trees. Spook and Reya stayed mostly out of sight.

I got to them by hiking out around the east side of Round Top, then out to the hill southish of the dry pond. They must be drinking from some little seep somewhere. There hasn’t been water in that pond since early last spring.

This was a great weekend for seeing horses; Sunday, I saw all but Chrome and David and Shadow. Chrome was with Traveler’s band Friday, but Aspen (alone Friday) was with them Sunday, and Chrome was nowhere to be found. Not great for water, of course. Still waiting on some ponds to get dug out in the hopes that they’ll actually hold water when it rains, but it might happen before the end of the month.





Rebuttal

1 08 2009

Deanne Stillman’s response to LA Times editorial against the ROAM act: http://www.laobserved.com/intell/2009/07/end_of_the_line_for_wild_horse.php

Deanne Stillman is the author of Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West, a must-read. http://www.deannestillman.com/

Here’s more on this topic: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-oew-boyles31-2009jul31,0,2957337.story