During last week’s visit to the horses, I was able to drive deep into the heart of the basin – and I was able to walk in even farther. I parked near where I found Hollywood’s band, but because they were all lying down when I arrived, I set out on a roundabout walkabout in search of some other ponies I hadn’t seen for a while: Roach and Poco, Bounce’s band … whoever else might appear.
As it turned out, all I saw on my loop were bovines (at least six calves) until I came around full-circle to the dun boy’s band (oh, and I also saw a LOT of elk up on the north hills). Really never expected to not only find Iya with them but to find that he had regained Piedra and Sage from Hook! But it’s not the first time Holls has lost his favorite, and I suppose it won’t be the last.
Early on, I caught sight of Chrome’s band out on the saddle between Round Top and Flat – little red mister is surprisingly easy to identify! Then, when I was walking down to Hollywood’s, I spotted Grey/Traveler nearer on the saddle between Flat Top and Round … but didn’t see Houdini or Terra.
My visit with Hollywood’s band ended when Piedra caught sight of Steeldust’s band coming around the end of the roller-coaster ridge basically toward us. Maybe she knew Hook was with them and didn’t want to take any chances because she came completely alert from her relaxed grazing and trotted resolutely away, everyone following in her wake.
Luna had been leading when SD’s band first came into view, but as they paused to watch Hollywood’s band vacate the vicinity, Alpha took the lead and led her charges through the big arroyo and straight up a not-so-straight spiney ridge toward the base of Knife Edge – and that’s where I had a lovely visit with the many lovelies of the big band.
Kestrel, almost 3, and her little sister Ember, almost 2, walking the ridge.
Storm. He’s 20 months old. Wait’ll you see what he’s still doing.
Young Pinon also is almost 2 years old, and that’s Hook with him.
Handsome Pinon. He looks a lot like his big sister Baylee, eh?
Mouse, left, dropped back to have a chat with Comanche.
Comanche, right, responded with a half-hearted little rear …
And Mouse decided he was OK with that response. Here, he’s looking at Aspen, who is watching the goings-on from the background.
These two seem to have developed quite a little friendship. Since the day I witnessed Storm pestering Hannah while she was trying to take a nap, when I see them, they’re never far apart.
There’s Storm and Hannah, Sable, Comanche and Ember at back right.
My experiences with the wild stallions and babies of Spring Creek Basin have always been illustrated by this very scene: Curious and tolerant of the youngsters, whether theirs or otherwise. I have, of course, been very lucky to have witnessed very healthy babies. Comanche is a bachelor, second to bachelor Mouse in the hierarchy of Steeldust’s hangers-on.
Now back to baby drama: What prompted this little action? Storm is just to the left … and baby sister Hannah got snippy with big sister Ember!
And then poor Sable, right, who was just walking along …
… became a victim of the trickle-down effect!
All’s well that ends well.
My goodness … it’s getting close to baby season again, isn’t it? 🙂 Mahogany – Sable’s, Pinon’s and Baylee’s mom (at least). Luna in the background.
I just love these lovely ladies! From foreground right: Mahogany, her daughter Sable, Luna and Alpha. I love how Luna and Alph are grazing with their eyes practically closed.
Who’s the ginormous baby boy still nursing at 20 months old!? 🙂 I’m starting to think I’m going to see him at some point down on his knees to reach under mama’s flank. Steeldust in the background.
Aspen and Hook bringing up the rear. These boys share another similarity now: They’ve both stolen Piedra from Hollywood … and they’ve both lost Piedra back to Hollywood!
Whaddya make of this? This little stealth plane zoomed over us during my visit – on a basic north-to-south trajectory – pretty low. But where the horses totally freaked out when the helicopter chattered over them last year, they didn’t seem to mind these fellows (two people in the cockpit?) at all. Can you read the USAF on the left wing and the U.S. Air Force on the nose? Another bit of a puzzle.
Before I headed back to the Jeep, I spied the back of a dark horse way out yonder on the north side of Flat Top. Couldn’t see Grey anymore on the saddle, but I couldn’t see enough to ID Terra positively. But I know it was her because I did finally see all three – Grey/Traveler, Houdini and Terra – later on my way out.
This is the end of the day’s “chapter 2” and represents the farthest I’ve gotten on tweaking the day’s photos! Visits with two more bands are to come! All’s well that starts slowly … and all’s still well with one particular little band that took in an orphan late last year … 🙂