Wind, bad – babies, good!

29 04 2010

Well, folks, the ides of March have followed us to April – almost to May, to be sure. Southwest Colorado had its second major wind-dust storm of the spring yesterday. It was fairly miserable. We had four or five last year … they were miserable, too.

Toward the end of the day yesterday, visibility finally got really bad (as opposed to fairly, just plain kinda bad).

Today it snowed.

Truth in advertising?! Summer, it ain’t – yet! And I think we need to have a little chat with Ma about the fact that it is – in point of calendar fact – spring. The sign (usually) reads: Summer maintenance only. πŸ™‚

I’m never upset about moisture. πŸ™‚

First, the spoiler:

So follow along, kids: That’s Luna (and ever-present Butch) … and that’s the belly. Ya can’t miss it, right? She’s past last year’s due date. She’s past last-last year’s due date. She’s past 10 days past last-last year’s due date! My goodness, the lady is keeping us waiting this year.

Before my visit, I told young visitor Rochlia that I thought it wouldn’t be long before I had a better opportunity to photograph Duke.

Duke at home right above Spring Creek (which is basically a dry arroyo with tiny places where water sometimes collects and sometimes seeps to the surface). You can see by his nearly horizontal tail how strong was the wind.

After Duke, the next horses I saw were Hollywood’s … and, my goodness, what’s that at Piedra’s side? They were at a distance, and I think they could see Duke, and Piedra was nervous … and Sage was VERY jealous, and Baylee and Iya were curious, so I deduced baby was – without being able to see too closely – just a day old, two at most. Piedra took them up into trees on a hill, and she kept them there all day. Smart – they were probably somewhat protected from the wind there. And from curious-as-all-get-out two-leggeds such as yours truly. πŸ™‚

Here’s a pic I took at the end of the day:

Baby is reddish with a muley muzzle, but reddish mane and tail, so not bay. Very big star and at least hind stockings. In the pic, left to right: Hollywood, Sage, Piedra and baby, and Baylee – Iya is out of the frame at right.

These lovelies also wanted to see the newest addition to the world that is Spring Creek Basin.

Another pond is dry … I know of two – maybe three – that still have water. Gonna be a long time till August-September when we’re supposed toΒ  have five or six more dug out. We’re getting moisture, but that ground just sucks it all up … and the wind … that wind is not kind.

Saw Bounce’s and Seven’s … and Steeldust’s … but not before I found the basin’s newest band. It’s headed by Hook. (I know what you’re thinking … everything changes. It can; it will. Enjoy it.) I know I haven’t been very good this spring about getting information posted to the blog in a timely manner (or at all), but Ember and Pinon have been hanging out with Hook lately (the past several weeks … since March?). So they’re all together – separate from Steeldust’s (more on them later) – plus one: Hannah! I alluded to a surprise a couple of posts ago, then never got around toΒ  spilling the photographic beans. A couple of weeks ago, I found her with Hollywood’s band! She clearly wanted to go “home,” and Holls just as clearly wanted to make her the newest member of his band. Did I mention Hannah is bold? Fearless? I can see it: The bands are close together … Hannah goes out to say hi … Holls is his usual charming self … then the bands aren’t close together anymore, and Holls is pinning his ears, and Hannah can’t get back to mama. She did end up back with the band, though. Now, she’s with sister, and all is calm.

But before I found them: a couple of white “dots” and a red dot … and an extra!

The “whites,” of course, were Grey/Traveler and Houdini, the red, Terra, and the extra:

Look how tall the baby girl is! And yes, it’s another daughter for Grey and Houdini! And, by the way, this is (at least) the fourth-in-a-row daughter for Houdini. She’s darker red than either Terra or Iya, but she has already-grey legs like Iya had, and the rings around her eyes are dead giveaways that the girl will go – surprise! – grey. πŸ™‚ (I meant “no” surprise!)

Two girls and their mama

Daddy and one of his girls. The birth of the newest little girl means we have at least three of his offspring in the basin. Given the number of offspring he must have sired in his years, it’s a little crazy that most of them are at least unknown.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say he likes being a daddy. A little bit anthro … a little bit observation.

I love her face. This lovely will have a birthday in just another day (definite, not guessed). Sister Iya was born April 27 (also known). Houdini was right on time! And master Sage was born today (again, known), so if Piedra’s newest was born two days ago, she’s also right on time! One young, one not so young. Now … about that Luna … πŸ™‚

Two more … my favorites:

Mama and her big girl …

I love spring. πŸ™‚

Welcome, babies, to your world.

More to come of Steeldust’s.



7 responses

30 04 2010

Great post TJ. The babies are so beautiful.

30 04 2010
Barbara Warner

Gorgeous pictures. Thank you. I hope and pray these horses aren’t rounded up by the BLM. What state are they in?

30 04 2010

Billie – Aren’t they! I always love seeing them for the first time.

Barbara – The next roundup here will likely be in fall 2011. The herd will number at least 100 horses by then, which is way over AML, which is 35-65. At the last roundup, more than 100 horses were on the range, and they were all pretty lean (not quite “skinny” yet) because of high competition for limited forage. The basin is high desert, with highly erodable soil that just don’t hold a lot of vegetation. As we’re already seeing – and saw last year, too – water is in short supply with most of our ponds already dry now at the end of April. The water that is there is very salty because of the high-alkaline-content soil. It is extremely unfortunate, and I cry more and more as the date approaches, but the basin simply cannot support an unlimited number of horses. This is why we’re introducing the proposal for a PZP program here like is done in Little Book Cliffs and a few other BLM herds, as well as several National Park Service-managed herds on the East Coast. Our hope is to slow population growth, thereby reducing the need (but not eliminating it) for roundups while maintaining a healthy herd – and incidentally saving BLM a whole lot of money in roundup and holding costs. We’re in Southwest Colorado.

30 04 2010
Rochlia [Tracy]

Soo glad to see Duke, and the new baby is ADORABLE!! I love her face too :]

30 04 2010

I’m always glad to see Duke, too. He has this thing of going off by himself in the spring, so it’s not too unusual, I guess. Last year it paid off for him …

1 05 2010
Victory Cowgirl (Jumper)

Baby has an adorable face! Any idea of what you’ll name her? She’s beautiful…!

The very last picture is my favorite. I love how baby’s eyes are half-closed, and she looks so content in her little horse-reverie.

I love those ponies!!

1 05 2010

I have an idea … but I’m rolling it around a bit to decide whether it’ll stick. πŸ™‚

I like that last pic, too. It’s a crop from a larger image, but I love her expression, too!

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