Coupla bellies

31 03 2012

It won’t be much longer now … baby season!

I saw Shadow the other day. She’s the first due (just before the middle of April), but she’s not very wide. And yes, she is back with David!

Piedra is due after the middle of April. She has had two colts and a filly, all by Hollywood, who also is this foal’s sire.

Kestrel is due before the middle of May. She has had two fillies, one by Mouse and one by Comanche (seen in the background). This year’s foal’s sire is Comanche.

Raven also is due before the middle of May. She has had a filly (by Corona in her native Sand Wash Basin) and a colt, by Kreacher, who also is the sire of this year’s foal.ย  She (and Kootenai) are both in Sundance’s band now.

Alegre is due right around the middle of May. She has had two fillies and a colt (and lost one foal). Gaia’s sire is unknown, but Bounce is the sire of the other two and this year’s foal. She is with Grey/Traveler now.

Houdini is due around the middle of April. She is one of three mares who has had surviving foals each year since at least 2007. Two different sires: Junior (rounded up in 2007) and Grey/Traveler, who also is the sire of this year’s foal. (She also had been with Grey in the early 2000s.) All her foals since 2007 have been fillies.

OK, so a couple more than a coupla bellies! Not all, though. These are just the most recent pix I have of girls due!





Peek-a-wow

30 03 2012

Comanche

Kestrel and Juniper

Peeking ponies looking gorgeous on a perfect spring morning!





U of Mizzou

30 03 2012

Students rock!

Thank you a million times for coming to Southwest Colorado for your spring break and putting your muscles to work on behalf of our Spring Creek Basin mustangs!

This week, among other projects, students from the University of Missouri rebuilt a big section of fence on one of the basin’s boundaries where places were cut before last fall’s roundup. The students hiked in and out (a mile and a half or so one way) with fence materials and equipment to complete the project. No motorized help in McKenna Peak Wilderness Study Area! And at the end of the day, they got to see some of the wild horses their work benefits!

Forget college spring break cliches. These motivated students raise money to travel here from Missouri and work hard while they’re here. In addition to Spring Creek Basin, they will work at Mud Springs at the base of Sleeping Ute Mountain and at Lowry Pueblo north of Cortez. They may go home with a tan (that may have started as a sunburn), but it’s not from lounging on the beach! Guaranteed, they’ll go home with memories of an experience they’ll be proud to share!

Alternative spring break here is a partnership between San Juan Mountains Association, BLM’s Tres Rios Field Office, the Forest Service (Dolores Public Lands Office), Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, the two local Back Country Horsemen groups (Mesa Verde and Four Corners), National Mustang Association/Colorado and other locals and local businesses to bring U of Mizzou students to the area for work projects on San Juan public lands. This was the 12th year of partnership!

Thank you to local volunteers Tif (MVBCH and NMA/CO), Joan (SJMA) and Bob (4CBCH), high school student volunteer Laura (who has been involved with this project for several years and will head to college later this year!), SJMA folks Kathe and MK, the Forest Service’s Tom and Ben – and pack horses Trapper and Zip! – and, never least, BLM’s Tom and Kiley!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the students. Your hard work is so much appreciated for the safety of our mustangs. Have fun with the rest of your visit, and come back soon! As Kathe said, there is a special place in heaven for all of you. ๐Ÿ™‚





Mama and daughters

26 03 2012

These gorgeous girls caught my eye during my last visit to the basin.

Mama Alegre has beautiful daughters, doesn’t she? Bounce is Aurora’s sire; Gaia’s sire is unknown. Bounce is the daddy of Alegre’s coming foal this year.

These girls are (still) part of Grey/Traveler’s family with Houdini and Corona.

Gorgeous Gaia

Gorgeous sisters: Gaia and Aurora

Aren’t they lovely?!

Speaking of lovely … beautiful mama Alegre.





Miss Shane

24 03 2012

Has a new family.

The last time I saw her, she was with mama Mona and stepdaddy Aspen. Seven was nearby, as were Roja and Killian, but from the distance, I couldn’t quite tell whether he had them or was just hanging out close-by in hopes of *getting* them. Bounce was fending off lone Storm (which made me think perhaps David has reclaimed Shadow), and Duke, Kreacher and Tenaz were nearby.

Now, flirty girl is with … guess who!?

Do you recognize the pretty grey girl in the foreground?

The La Sals have some nice snow after the last storm, but they seem to be losing it day by day with this warm, dry, windy weather (ah, spring!).

Calling her “flirty” is anthropomorphism, of course, but before Hollywood, I’ve seen her “flirting” with Grey/Traveler and Sundance – always returning to mama, though. She turned 1 last Sept. 1.

She looks quite a lot like Aspen, not only because of her color but because of her conformation. Mona cannot be related, but I wonder about Kreacher (Shane’s sire).

Stout little mustang girl!





Piece of the pie

22 03 2012

“Nearly $US300,000 in funding has been approved by the Bureau of Land Management for 12 projects aimed at improving Western rangeland conditions where wild horses and burros roam.”

“* Tres Rios Field Office, Southwest District, Colorado, Spring Creek Basin HMA: This project is aimed at expanding the ongoing successful partnership with the Disappointment Wild Bunch Partners to include such actions as herd monitoring, fence repairs, invasive weed inventory and treatments, illegal route closures, and travel management sign installation. Funding amount from the Directorโ€™s Challenge: $25,000”

The Grand Junction Field Office also was awarded $25,000 for ongoing partnership with Friends of the Mustangs for the Little Book Cliffs herd. Congratulations!!

Read more about it.

Thanks to Wild Bunch’s Tif (adopter of Ze and Asher) for this news!





Comanche and daughter

18 03 2012

Comanche

Juniper

Juni sauntered up alongside Daddy where he was grazing and “tickled” him till he paid attention to her.

So patient. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, so, so like her daddy.

Handsome daddy Comanche will meet his second baby this spring. Mama Kestrel is due in May.





Sun spots

17 03 2012

Maybe not the spots you were expecting.

Corona backlit.

I confess that I’m not sure about her pregnancy status. She ought to be, having been with Grey/Traveler since last spring. (Even after the roundup and a brief sojourn with Tenaz, he got her back.) But she’s so small, it’s hard to tell.

She will turn 3 the end of April, born the spring after her mama, Raven, and Mona and Kootenai were introduced from Sand Wash Basin. (This is done periodically here to help ensure our herd’s genetic diversity, and these three mares represent the third such introduction that I’m familiar with.) From documentary photos of the Sand Wash Basin mustangs before their 2008 roundup, I know Raven was with that basin’s famous and fabulous stallion Corona – for whom I named our Corona.

I *think* she is pregnant – she has a way of walking that seems to accommodate a bigger belly than she’s used to.

What do you all think??





Such a boy

16 03 2012

A, who adopted Liberty, had a wonderful art show tonight in Ridgway: “Liberty and Family and Friends” drew a big crowd of Spring Creek Basin mustang supporters!

She had several paintings of Liberty, of course, as well as paintings of horses we’ve recently lost: Twister, Hook, Cinch, Kiowa …

A’s painting of Cinch, from a photo I took of him last March. Actually, I’m sure she won’t mind if I provide her name, as the artist: She is Alice Billings of Ridgway. Isn’t this fantastic?

I met several people I’d previously known only by name/email/phone/Facebook. To see all the people so enamored of and supportive of our mustangs was awesome.

These photos are for L’s daughter, who said Hayden is her favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚

What a sweetie. Terra walked over to Hayden, where he was napping under a tree, minding his own business. It’s fun to watch the girls with him. It’s probably not quite as much fun to be him, dealing with the girls teasing him.

But he gives back almost as good as he gets. ๐Ÿ™‚

Later, he laid down while they were napping, and they stood protectively over him, his head inches from their hooves. I love watching them.





Morning lightness

16 03 2012

Chrome and Terra in the morning, gilded. My camera was giving me error messages on each shot, and I was just crying with that light all around. I finally changed batteries, and that solved the problem, but I must also have changed the white balance because none of the other photos came out with this golden light. Winona is just out of sight below them, and Hayden is behind them a short distance.

This is behind Filly Peak, where the roundup took place. Chrome likes to hang out in this area. They were pretty far distant the other day. It was good to see them back in “usual” territory.

The bare hill in the middle background drops down to the Disappointment Road. The treed hills in the background are outside the herd management area. You can see some snow still on the shady north hillsides among the pinon and juniper, but most of it is gone in this area. We’re apparently awaiting our next storm; moisture will be critical this year (as it is every year!). This is one of the mildest winters I think I’ve experienced in 10 years in Colorado.