Well … elk

16 02 2011

I’m still missing my ponies. The road is not awful – I did get in. The road is not good – I didn’t get very far in. The bands I saw were pretty far … but something caught my eye that I can’t confirm yet but hopefully soon.

The walking was worse than the driving, and wet, saturated, sloppy mud is my weakness. At 9 a.m., the temperature was a whopping 49 degrees! By 11:30, it was 51 … and spitting snow. Not rain. Snow. It was blowing – did I mention it felt like March? – so it wasn’t sticking except for half a second where it landed, where I confirmed they were, in fact, snow flakes. We are looking for snow, according to our forecast. And it’s February – on the west flank of the Rocky Mountains. It’s SUPPOSED to be cold. Snow is SUPPOSED to be on the ground. Still need some dancin’ … 🙂

So I have no pix of horses … Instead, I give you another type of four-leggeds that very briefly, seasonally, migrate through the basin:

The line across the bottom is the road. The elk are at the base of Filly Peak. That’s a northish-facing hill – hence the snow – and the reason I didn’t drive down there (that, and the elk). Very melty. Very soft.

The elk were bedded down when I drove into view and stopped so I could scan across the basin for horses. They all got up (at least one tired girl wasn’t too worried) … but I didn’t drive any closer, and when I turned around to head out, they had mostly all laid back down!

Just outside the basin’s boundary (on private land), I stopped to let a spike bull, yearling and cow across the road … then realized a BIG bunch were heading up a hill from below the level of the road:

Quite a crowd.

Running through Disappointment Creek. (Note how UNFROZEN it is.)

I was shooting through the window of the Jeep. They went up another hill, flowed over the fence like a great brown mass (unfortunately, my view was mostly blocked by willows or tamarisk or some other shrubby trees), across the road in front of me and up the other hill and out of sight. Within a few minutes, they were all gone.

Wider view. (Note the lack of snow on this hill – south-facing.)

We need snow. I like it when mud season comes later, and I like it when it comes after a lot more snow. 🙂



4 responses

16 02 2011
Lynn Bauer and Kathy Pariso

OK, now it’s time, not only for another “snow dance,” but a a special prayer and maybe even a prayer stick – I have one ready. I’ll put it up and try my best to remember the prayer (translated into English) that I learned several years ago. Gosh, all we can do is that and more “traditional prayers.” Everyone can help – just think about it and your thoughts will go where they should.

By the way, nice photos of the other critters that live with us on this planet..

Prayers go with you and *our* Spring Creek horses!!
L, K and M

17 02 2011

I love to see big healthy herds like that. Those shots are hard to capture. They blend in great among the rocks and snow–you’d have to really be looking to see them in those first pics. You just might get a lot of snow late in the season. We’re getting some here right now.

17 02 2011
Linda Horn

Nice looking herd, but I get bored with the repetition of elk butts. I much prefer the variety of wild horse colorations. There was a report in today’s paper that there’ll be prime elk hunting in Colorado this year. There are currently about 300,000 elk across the state. A few simple calculations show that, unless their new promotional campaign is wildly successful, there may be as many as 370,000 next year. YIKES!!!

17 02 2011
jan eaker

All the beautiful snow has melted here, it is mud season way too early; People at work were joyful over the 60 degree temps today, I wanted the snow to stay for awhile longer.
Beautiful pictures, TJ. I like seeing elk, we only have white-tails here in IL. Hope you get to see the horses soon.
I’ll pray for snow, both here and In SW CO.
take care,

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