Catching up

22 10 2009

“There are 85,000 apps that can do almost anything.”

I have two questions: Wasn’t it just 75,000 a week ago? And … what the heck is an “app”? Or is it ap? Appy? Appaloosa? OK, now we’re talking my language. (If “almost anything” will select and cull my photos, download them, pick ones for the blog and tweak ’em and upload ’em … just tell me how to get one.)

Nope, no appys in this post, but I think it gets me up to just a week behind (it’ll widen again in a couple of days, no worries).

L&K beat me to the basin that morning. They know the ponies like nobody’s business, and it’s awesome having them out to visit. We were both optimistic and worried when we didn’t find Mr. Duke where they had seen him the day before. Unfortunately, none of us have seen him since.

Our first visit was with Steeldust’s band, who were drinking at the catchment. The three misters (Aspen, Hook and Twister) were there, too, drinking from the smaller trough.

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Big band at the big tank; misters at the little tank.

We stood at the road and took pictures … and after drinking, the horses wandered up to say hello!

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Alpha, Butch, Ember and Hannah

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Look at that big little guy! I don’t know whether he’s getting anything … but he’s still nursing – and mama Alpha is still letting him! Steeldust at left; Hannah at right.

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Then he goes over and pokes at Mr. Twister, who is hanging out with the big boys now. Twister’s getting his licks in now …

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Storm chases Twister …

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Twister flashes his heels (which I was too late to catch), and Storm-chaser backs off. Works every time.

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And then they were friends. There’s Comanche on the left, Mouse on the right, Aspen at far back right and Hook behind him.

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Sisters Ember (near) and Kestrel. Notice Storm (and Hannah) coming up behind them and young Pinon, also looking at something in the background.

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What are they looking at?

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Right to left: Ember, Kestrel, Luna, Butch and Hannah. Could be five generations there if Butch is, indeed, one of Luna’s brood.

L&K saw Cinch and Bruiser later when they drove to Flat Top to check the pond, so in hind sight, I wonder whether the ponies were checking out those boys out yonder.

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After Storm got his fill of boy time, he remembered his gentlemanly manners by escorting mistress Hannah back to the band … which she clearly didn’t appreciate – look at those ears! And big sisters Ember and Kestrel are posing prettily for the camera.

As the horses moved closer and closer to the road, we decided we might be blocking their route, so off we went.

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On the way down the hill, I saw Mahogany and Sable looking down from the ridge, so I stopped the Jeep and grabbed a shot.

While L&K went to check the pond, I went on to check the Wildcat boulders.

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Fabulous!!

While I was going clockwise around the loop, L&K were going counter-clockwise. Not a single pony was in view for me. Both the pond right by the road in the east and the east-pocket pond still have water. I was looking hard for Poco and Roach – and L&K saw them right before they saw me – but I never saw the boys. In fact, when I spied the wandering elusive-ites, L&K were already watching them … and worried about the one they didn’t see.

Seven’s were down on the southwest side of the roller-coaster ridge, out away from the pond, which also still has water. Seven, check. Roja and Ze, check. Liberty … all alone … where’s Molly? Liberty was by herself a short distance from the other horses, and while we watched, she turned and walked away. Seven and Roja and Ze followed, and they all dropped down into a wash out of sight. Every once in a while, we could see somebody’s back, but none of those backs were Molly’s. There were a few dead junipers out there and one alive. Knowing Molly-girl’s penchant for napping under trees, I thought she might have hung back while the other horses moseyed on, grazing. My theory was that when Liberty got out away from her, she decided she wasn’t going any farther and went back to Mama. Given Molly’s known condition – even though we also knew she had been seen recently by J&K – not seeing her worried us.

There was nothing for it but to walk out to get the scoop, for better or for worse. When I got to the edge of the wash and saw Liberty nursing from Molly, I was able to flash L&K the thumbs-up!

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It is what it is.

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Roja, little chow-hound that she is, never even looked up at me, and that in itself was a surprise. She’s usually the first to “alert.” Maybe I’m growing on her. 🙂

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Silent sentinel. He also was very relaxed with me there.

I took just a few photos and left them – no worries from me, ponies.

Bounce and his band were on the other side of the ridge.

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Whisper, Bounce, Gaia and Alegre. They like this bend of the arroyo (and not just them – Poco and Roach, Hollywood’s … ), which is weird (?) because there’s no water in that section, but there is water farther west.

On the way back to the west-side loop road, we spotted Grey/Traveler’s way – WAY – off yonder under some trees sort of eastish of Round Top – between RT and the weird guzzler. I figure sometime between then and Sunday was when Chrome “acquired” Jif and Hayden.

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Hollywood had his band out on the east-west hill; that’s him at right. Then Piedra, Sage and Baylee.

Am I right, or was it warm?

Out on the flats east of the catchment were the misters and Steeldust’s band. (Keep that in mind.)

We got back to Filly Peak, and I hiked out “behind” the hill to check for Duke, and L&K went on down to the trap-road pond to look for him. We all came up unlucky. But guess who I did see from back yonder?

And that jogs the memory – on our way into the basin, they were out on the corral hill. So when I saw Kreacher’s band – traitors included – they were heading north toward – I thought – the catchment. I reunited with L&K and gave them the report, and sure enough, the band popped up and went to the big catchment trough. They drank, then headed back the way they had come and dropped back over the edge. We drove back over and were able to see them down on the flats south of the catchment.

L&K had a drive back to their home away from home, and I had a “date,” so we headed toward the entrance.

But the ponies had other ideas (don’t they always?). I guess they weren’t quite ready to say good-by to these fans-of-theirs … Remember I said Steeldust’s band had been out on the flats east of the catchment? By the time we got back around to just past Filly Peak … they were blocking the road!

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Mama Alpha and big-baby Storm (he had just finished nursing – again).

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Muddy brother Pinon, Sable and Mahogany. You can see the road above/behind them.

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Lovely Kestrel and Sable and Mahogany

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Must have been that time of day. Hannah and Luna (road again behind them).

So pony time intervened, and there was nothing to do but watch and admire and take pictures and smile and smile and smile. 🙂 A minute after I figured I had to be leaving, the ponies were across and off the road, and we were on our way.

Can’t have a much better fare-thee-well than that! 😉


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2 responses

24 10 2009
pnickoles

I need that “app” too. 🙂 You’re doing a great job of catching up (I’m envious) and I enjoyed reading about the ponies. Molly, well, you’re right. It is what it is. I so wish you could’ve found Duke though. I hope he turns up soon and fully recovered. Great posts!

25 10 2009
TJ

I feel so behind everywhere … except on my visits to the ponies. Duke will turn up when he’s ready, I think … just have to give him time. (I hope, too!)
TJ

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