Corona, halo’d

21 03 2013

Corona, haloed.

Very last light of day rims the girl in lovely light.

I looked for Sundance’s band for two days, then found them where they were, well south of where I had seen them just three days previously. This is the basin’s traveling band, for sure.

This visit capped a wonderful, peaceful visit with the two pinto bands, which were close together – and followed a David sighting! That was the first I had seen him since I found his mares (Puzzle and Shadow) with Seven. He’s alone but in terra familiar and looks well.

Grey in black & white

20 03 2013


At this time of day, there wasn’t much difference between the color version of this image and this black-and-white image. His white eyelashes show up very well against his lovely dark eyes!

Storm in the forbidden forest

19 03 2013

Storm off the road across from the Sorrel Flats pond.

So it’s not very forbidding, and it’s not exactly what one would call a “forest.” But it frames Storm very handsomely, doesn’t it?

Early-ish morning, and he and his family were on the way to drink at the Sorrel Flats pond.

Pretty girl and a peak

18 03 2013

Cassidy Rain in front of McKenna Peak.

Cassidy Rain about a week ago in front of snow-covered McKenna Peak. The snow now has melted.

Preparing for fence work

17 03 2013

In a couple of weeks, it will be spring break time again. And here, alternative spring break comes in late March, courtesy of San Juan Mountains Association, which has brought University of Missouri students to Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area (and other places on San Juan public lands) for something like 10 years now!

Yesterday, a crew of volunteers helped SJMA’s Kathe Hayes clear greasewood and saltbush and small pinon/juniper trees and a small, interwoven shrub we couldn’t identify away from the southeastern boundary fence so the students can start rebuilding the fence from the road with BLM, Forest Service, SJMA and Disappointment Wild Bunch Partners help. For the second year, the students will work for the basin’s mustangs for two days (previous years have had them in the basin one day), and not for the first year, we’re excited to welcome them!

Some pix from our work:


Tif and her daughter, Madison (yes, our Madison is named after *this* Madison!), cut and toss greasewood away from the fence near the road.


Kathe and Lyn clear the fence of greasewood. This shot is looking back toward the road; you can see the metal supports of the cattle guard in the distance. Note Kathe’s handsaw; this part of the basin also is part of McKenna Peak Wilderness Study Area, meaning no motorized travel or mechanized tools – like chainsaws. Kathe and other volunteers cut some trees on another day for the students to use to make H-braces; those also were cut using handsaws.


Lyn, Madison and Tif clear brush while Kathe moves on to the next bush in need of clearing. Lyn is clearing the last bit of saltbush; the ground here was moist enough that we were mostly able to pull it up through the soil.


The couple that saws together stays together! Tif and her husband (and Madi’s dad), Curly, cut and saw a small juniper tree out of the fence line.


Curly and Madison head back to the truck after an excellent day’s work. The family that volunteers together … is super fun to have on your work crew!


Tif, her mom, Lyn (Madison’s grandma), and Kathe walk back to the truck along the newly cleared fenceline boundary of Spring Creek Basin.

In other good news, about 37 drops of rain fell while we were working. 🙂

Play time, mustang style

16 03 2013

Madison and Temple playing with a deer skull with antlers attached.

Madison and Temple, bold, bright, beautiful mustang girls, found the coolest of cool playthings in the basin the other day: the top part of a deer skull with the antlers attached. (Quite old and weathered.)

Madison playing with a deer skull with antlers attached.

They chewed on the tips, sniffed it, pawed it – lifted it once, and I managed to back focus the three frames I caught – and generally had a grand time with it for about 20 minutes!

Temple plays with the deer skull with antlers attached.

Lesson: Make fun where you find it, with whatever you find!

Going … going …

15 03 2013

Juniper naps on a warm spring day.

Juniper was a sleepy girl …

Juniper succumbs to a lovely, warm spring day.

… on a lovely, warm spring day …

Juniper succumbs to a lovely, warm spring day.

… and she’s gone. 🙂


Juni down for the count with sister Madison and mama Kestrel. Daddy Comanche was behind them to the right.

What a lovely day. And there’s a blush of green across the hills. As dry as it is, that’s nice to see.

All is well

14 03 2013


Storm checking in with Cassidy Rain, Roja and Killian. Gaia was just to the right. They were above the pond but kept looking at the hill beyond, even after they drank and left. My poor human eyes couldn’t find what was so interesting over there, but the horses knew it!

Precious water

13 03 2013

All but three of our 10 ponds have water. Of the three that don’t, one still is on the list of priority ponds to be dug out (set by Disappointment Wild Bunch Partners and BLM in 2008), one was dug out last year, and one was started last year and about half dug out before rain hit. To date, only two ponds haven’t been dug out since 2009.

Gaia, Storm, Cassidy Rain, Killian and Roja drinking at the double pond.

Storm and his band are seen here drinking from the main double pond (both have water, but only one was dug out, so I should amend my earlier statement, but only the main pond holds water reliably). From left: Gaia, Storm, Cassidy Rain, Killian and Roja. Do you see the ice still on the pond?

Gaia, Storm and Cassidy Rain drinking at the double pond.

So dainty!

Goo-goo eyes

12 03 2013

Comanche making eyes at Piedra.

Comanche welcoming Piedra to his side of the arroyo.

Not to fear: Hollywood intervened, and all was well.