Border patrol

20 06 2020

The fence is the western boundary of Spring Creek Basin. The white cable as the top “strand” of the fence is from the old days when roundups were done by helicopter, and the horses were moved to the west fence line, then down into Spring Creek canyon and trapped at the upper end of it.

We don’t do that anymore, of course, but it’s still a good visual boundary for the horses on the rare occasion when they get close to that area.

The La Sal Mountains of Utah rise into the sunset on our northwestern horizon.

P.S. Happy summer solstice! As we start the slide toward shorter days and winter, I think I can speak for all of us when I say the biggest thing we want in the near future are our monsoon rains.

Just a pretty little pinto girl

19 06 2020

Reya paused on her way up the hill from an arroyo seep where her band had an evening drink.

In the background, the hazy amber sky is from smoke, but I think it may be from the Arizona fires instead of the one southeast of Mancos. It’s at 2,764 acres.

The wind has subsided from brutal to merely strong, and with that relief comes another plague: the gnats. They’re here. My guess is that they’ve been out … just blown away like the rest of us. Both’ll drive a body insane.

Golden-hour prayers

18 06 2020

Temple and Madison do some dust-devil dancing. I wish they were romancing the rain, but the forecast is bleak.

King of his hill

17 06 2020

Maiku watches over his band (he’s a lieutenant) as they graze among the boulders of Filly Peak. Spring Creek Basin stretches dry and parched in the distance.

Making the case for rain

16 06 2020

Remember yesterday’s image of Skywalker marching across a hill in the basin? If he looked like he was on a mission, he was. *I* thought he was heading toward a water source, but through a cleft in the edge of the hill that he headed down, he showed me a bigger prize: a couple of bands in the distance, right near the basin’s western boundary, above Spring Creek canyon.

Those bands both have lieutenant stallions, and there’s one (of previously two) bachelor still interested and following one of those bands. So when Skywalker showed up … things got, shall we say, even more *interesting*!

Not very often do I get the opportunity to photograph the horses running and moving and interacting with other bands and bachelors. It’s pretty peaceful here in Spring Creek Basin. But on this evening, wowza – it was action central.

*Important: Although there definitely was some stallion action and interaction, no mustang was injured (beyond some cuts/scrapes) in the excitement of the evening.

In the pic above, one could think that the horses had their own little rain dance choreographed, eh?

The good and the not-so-much

15 06 2020

Skywalker helps distract us from the dry, brown conditions and … what is that, in the distance, far to the southeast … ???

The East Canyon Fire blew up Sunday because of lightning Saturday. It started on private land east of Mancos, then moved to BLM land, and had grown to more than 200 acres as of yesterday’s reporting. Mancos is in eastern Montezuma County; the fire is about 20 miles west of Durango, which is in La Plata County. It put up a plume of smoke that was easily visible from Spring Creek Basin, more than two hours away by vehicle.

We’ve been under a fire-weather watch, wind advisories and red-flag warnings; strong winds, high temps, low humidity (9 percent!) and dry, dry country make conditions ripe for wildfires.

Stay safe, folks.


14 06 2020

Little Shadow-girl kept wandering too close to a neighboring band, and Killian had to get fierce to keep her with the family. She’s really not much bigger than a large pony, but she has a big stride, doesn’t she!?

Just a little swish

13 06 2020

Temple picks her way through sun-kissed grasses at the end of another dry – and beautiful – day in Spring Creek Basin.

That ol’ sun

12 06 2020

A bachelor stands sentinel between two bands at the base of Filly Peak at sunset in Spring Creek Basin.

Quite at his leisure

11 06 2020

Aspen stands at peace with his hip cocked while watching a band a little below the ridge he was on. McKenna Peak is giant in the background. The other band was napping in the shade of a juniper tree, but Aspen didn’t seem to mind the sunshine.