Taking a long view

6 09 2009

Last weekend, the weekend after Dan and Karen’s visit, I was still riding the high from my previous visit. The goals (yes, yes, never go with an agenda in mind) were to find Jif and to check the ponds for dig-out activity. No and no on both counts.

Taking to the heights was Grey/Traveler’s band – still with Chrome but not Aspen – way up … well … can you see where they were?

Mountain goats

Mountain goats

Sorry for the long, far distance – can you pick ponies out? Can you tell where they are? That’s right up above Spring Creek canyon. The white dot is Grey/Traveler – see him? And far to the right is Chrome.

It took some long moments of watching, but I finally determined that Jif did not have a foal at her side.

Follow the leader

Follow the leader

Kootenai and Mona following Kreacher. His legs aren’t really cut off, he’s just demonstrating the ability of this seemingly flat landscape to hide whole or partial ponies.

At the catchment trough

At the catchment trough

They followed the trail that comes up at left rear of this image and walked right on past the smaller of the two troughs. You can just, just barely see the top ofΒ it above Kootenai’s back.

Duke, Raven and Corona also were playing at being mountain goats, way up high above the “road” to Klondike Basin. I’m sure horses did once wander up there, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen horses that high – “above treeline” for what we have in the basin, so to speak.

Bounce’s band was in the east pocket toward the road from the pond. They were partially obscured by saltbush clumps, so I didn’t get any pix.

From the section of road between the dugout intersection and the boringly named second intersection, I stopped to watch Steeldust’s band, right on the west-side loop road! In addition to Aspen, Hook and Twister also were with the band. I guess Aspen got a little worn out trying to keep up with the old man …

Had four visitors in two vehicles (well, five in three, if you count me) last weekend. Non-hunters and extremely well-behaved. πŸ™‚ I was able to talk with D&S for quite a while as we watched Steeldust’s band and bachelors in the distance.

Kreacher’s were up by Filly Peak on the way out, and Hollywood’s turned up close to the first curve from the entrance boundary (including, yes, still, Poco and Roach). Only far pix of them, and we were leaving because of the lightning strikes and lazy thunder rolls along the northeastern ridge, so it was darkling by then.

You get back from the edge this instant!

You get back from the edge this instant!

Is your stomach churning? I’m not afraid of heights, but I understand a parent’s fear seeing their child on the edge of a canyon (which I do all the time; sorry, Mom). Hmm. I guess you can’t tell from this pic or the previous one just how high they are, how long a sheer drop it is to the bottom of the canyon. That’s the canyon used by the contractors during the August 2007 roundup to collect the horses. It doesn’t look so bad in this picture because the foreground seems to run right up to the rim of rocks … but it doesn’t. Between the gentle-seeming foreground and those rocks is a steep-sided (especially on the far side, under those rimrocks), deep canyon. The horses aren’t in any danger of sliding off the edge … but good grief. You get back from that edge this instant! πŸ™‚

Down the hill at a run

Down the hill at a run

Hmm – maybe they DO listen to me! (Or not.) In the lead is Chrome, followed by Grey/Traveler, Jif (sans a foal-shadow), Houdini and Terra, Iya and Cuatro and Two Boots. Heading down to water in the Spring Creek arroyo is my guess. (Pic taken from the curve at the road to the old trap site.)

But that’s not all. On my way to the basin earlier, I had seen the backs of what I took to be Chipeta, Ty and Corazon from the Disappointment Road. So, chased out of the interior of the basin by threatening storm clouds, I went home the back way, too, hoping to see them again with a clearer view or hike in depending on the weather in that part of the herd area.

David and Shadow

David and Shadow

Ponies heading to water.

Ponies in the sage

Ponies in the sage

So to speak. I’ll wait while you count. Got ’em? Don’t miss little Milagro, nearly hidden by a saltbush or greasewood almost as big as he is. Starting at left: Kiowa and Spook, Chipeta, Copper, Milagro, Reya (Milagro is almost directly “above” Reya’s hip), Corazon and Ty. One missing … from the picture. Mesa was just to the right, out of this image.

It’s very strange doing posts so far behind. And then you, the reader, will see the most recent posts first … Almost like seeing the future of the recent past? Whew. Stand by for the next, which you already will have read by the time you get to this post.

It turned out that the only horses I didn’t see were Cinch and Bruiser and Seven’s band – and I can’t even spill the beans because you’ll already know I saw them after reading the next post, which you’ll read before this post unless you read this post in the time it takes me to write the next – first – post!

Confused? This is how the ponies seem to perpetually keep me. πŸ™‚


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