Two ponds dug

25 11 2009

I have to start this post with the good news (there isn’t any bad): Two of our ponds finally got dug out! The work was done before the snow the weekend before last, but the dozer just left this past weekend. I think the ponds look fabulous, and they’re both deeper (much deeper!) and can’t help but provide more water sources for the horses next spring! I wish I could remember the contractor’s name; I’d thank him right here on the blog – thank you, contractor! Your work will provide a direct benefit to the horses! And thanks to BLM for starting the process rolling by securing the funds.

Let’s start with the pond behind/south of Round Top.

This what it looked like “un-dug.”

Here it is dug. Just imagine that baby filled with water!

Now here’s the other one, one of the “double ponds” off the far east loop road:

It blends in, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚ That’s OK – perfect, even! In the foreground is the wide arroyo the road crosses, and about midway up the left side IS the road … and up to the right, about midway, is the pond. (The second of the “double ponds” is back farther, closer to where the arroyo comes down from the east ridge.)

Here it is a little closer (zoomed in). I hiked back to it after a visit with Poco and Roach and just had my long lens. From closer, I couldn’t get nearly all the pond in any composition!

Another comparison:

This is the big pond below the roller-coaster ridge. Yes, it’s shrinking (it was the one pond that didn’t go dry in 2008; it did go dry this year, then filled back up), but look how shallow it looks compared to the ones that just got dug out! That’s serious siltification! (I have no idea whether that’s an actual word.)

Snow is still in patches throughout the basin, but the roads were mostly dry. It was a little soft back near the double ponds, so I didn’t go all the way around. Molly and Liberty and Duke remain elusive. I did see Seven’s but not Bounce’s, so Molly and her filly are a mystery right now (if Molly’s time has come, I’m expecting Liberty to show up with one of the other bands … maybe back with Seven, her sire, or with Bounce, who she and Molly spent at least a few days with after they left Seven’s band). Little Hayden is adjusting well to his abnormal babyhood. He’s fuzzy, and both Jif and stepdaddy Chrome are protective of him. I saw them just from a distance, walking along a ridge. Jif was leading, and Hayden was a short distance behind … with Chrome *right* behind him. He easily could have passed the youngster, but he stayed right with him, even stopping with him for a rest while Jif walked on till she realized they had stopped. Nothing’s more important than family, no matter the season. πŸ™‚

Poco has regained some weight he lost while he and Roach were with Hollywood’s band.

Roach, low man on the totem pole, still looks great.

I was having flashbacks with regard to Kreacher’s bandΒ  like with Seven’s band after they were chased last summer: I hadn’t seen them except very far away since the ATV hunters spooked them. Found them finally a bit out of their normal territory, but then they ended up on the west-side loop road and were completely calm when I gingerly approached them to say howdy.

Looking out toward the eastern ridge/boundary. It doesn’t look very snowy, but patches were hiding in the shadows of saltbush and grassy stuff! You can see the tracks from the dozer on the road.

Corona seems to have made a connection with Kootenai since Koot joined them with Duke.

I caught them during their late-afternoon nap …

By this time of year, the mamas seem to feel like their ever-more-independent babes regard them just as milk bars. But every now and then, you can still catch them in a tender moment …

And a mother-daughter portrait or two. πŸ™‚

Mona and Kootenai … still napping … on the other side of the road (no jokes!).

They’re very fuzzy (Kootenai, in particular, has a lush, furry coat; maybe it’s her color that makes it so apparent). Corona was a bit muddy, and the mud just accentuated her curls. πŸ™‚ She’s SO cute!

Just before sunset, I found Hollywood and his family, getting a drink at the Flat Top pond, which was on the dig-out list but didn’t get done because Mother Nature saw fit to rain enough just before it was to get done that water collected a bit here. About a third of that surface area (it didn’t fill) is dry again now.

This is the view from the road. It’s the opposite end that’s drying first.

Hollywood and his shadow. πŸ™‚

I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving, no matter where you are or who you’re with. Other than my family, of course, I’m most thankful for the wild horses of Spring Creek Basin and elsewhere, and I’ll be gratefully and thankfully spending the holiday with them this year. Bounty of good life to you all!


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2 responses

25 11 2009
Lynn Bauer

TJ –
What a great entry (as they all are) but, especially right now! Thanks to the BLM and the contractor for the work on the ponds – we’re sure that’ll pay off big time when needed! Most of all, THANK-YOU, TJ for the wonderful stories and photos of these horses – we feel like we KNOW them all because of your work!
Have a great time out there – wish we could be there too!!
L & K

27 11 2009
pnickoles

Finally – the ponds are done. The pictures and descriptions are wonderful as always. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

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