Grey and green

30 07 2013

Grey's band in the west.

Grey/Traveler’s band taking advantage of the green grass grown by greatly needed rain.





Water for mustangs

30 06 2013

Not elephants. Although, as this drought continues, it’s beginning to look a lot like the sere plains of Africa out here.

I call this photo “La Sals, Imagination”:

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Whaddya mean you can’t see the mountains … through the smoke? Use your imagination. 🙂 Although Grey/Traveler’s band seems to also be looking for the mountains, they were watching Chrome’s band walking toward them on their way to the water catchment.

Smoke from this fire – way, way, way east of here – apparently has drifted into New Mexico then blown back north and west into Colorado. But it’s not the only fire burning in the region.

Earlier, Grey/Traveler’s band had been drinking at the water catchment’s trough:

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Maia, clearly at her leisure, worried me; I thought the worst, that the storage tank had drained and the trough was empty, and she was waiting for someone to come fill it, darnit!

Not to fear.

Water trough at the catchment in Spring Creek Basin, looking toward the road.

The trough was full of water. Whew. (The big green tank is the storage tank that holds water from either rain or snow or direct-fill.)

Because of the drought, BLM has been checking to ensure that the horses have enough water sources, and we – National Mustang Association/Colorado – recently got the green light to deliver a load of water – 4,000 gallons – to the catchment tank. Donors and silent-auction-item buyers at the Pati Temple Memorial Benefit Bash, this is the first use of the money you helped us raise! Interestingly, the area of the catchment is used primarily by Chrome’s band and rarely by other bands. But some other bands have started to find the water – and the good forage in this area. Water is a good way to disperse the horses’ grazing and get them to use under-used areas.

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Chrome’s band at the catchment trough, drinking clean water. This is an important water source because it’s the only clean source of water in the basin. The others are high in alkalinity and salt because of the basin’s soils. The dusky, hazy color cast is because of the smoke.

The temperature hit 110 degrees Friday. On Thursday, the high was 108. Smoke, wind, heat, zero moisture = ugh.

Cecil Foster, owner of Foster’s Water, to the rescue.

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The storage tank is about 15 feet tall, so Cecil brings his ladder to access the hatch at the top. At right is the hose from his water truck.

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Seen here are his water truck, the hose to the tank and the water trough in the background at right.

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Thanks, Cecil! He also donated a load of water for the benefit’s silent auction. Cecil is a super nice man, and a friend of the mustangs of Spring Creek Basin.

Thank you, NMA/CO, for the delivery of water to the mustangs!





Summer solstice

22 06 2013

Grey's band near sunset on the summer solstice, Spring Creek Basin.

Grey/Traveler’s band at the end of the longest day in Spring Creek Basin.





Spa day

9 05 2013

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Mama Alegre and daughter Maia (now 1 year old!) a couple of days after Maia’s birthday. They were grazing near the roller-coaster ridge pond – likely where they got their matching spa treatments. Maia looks like big sister Aurora and their daddy Bounce, but where Aurora may stay black like daddy, Maia is going grey like mama – and big brother Whisper.

In other news, the La Sals, starting to look a little ragged in this photo, have a mantle of new white now after some rain in the low country and snow in the high country. It’s a start, and it’s a relief. It IS green. I don’t understand it, but I love it! The moisture will help tremendously.





Afire

28 04 2013

Mariah in divine light at the end of day.

Mariah

Houdini and Alegre in the golden gorgeous light of the end of day.

Houdini and Alegre

Maia

Maia

Grey at the end of day. Love the gold that surrounds him. Magic light.

Grey/Traveler

Sunset.

Speechless.





Reflections

29 03 2013

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Grey/Traveler, center, drinks from a pond with his band, from left: Alegre, Maia, Mariah and Houdini. Water is the most precious resource of all in this high desert region.





White snow, grey ponies

14 01 2013

A day full of snow would leave a basin full of snow, you’d think – and you’d be right! Such interesting climate zones in Disappointment Valley. Some snow in the lower, broader valley; lots of snow higher as the valley narrows to the east-southeast. It all means moisture for the horses and deer and elk and coyotes and bobcats and other critters that call the valley home.

Someone told me the other day that he saw “a big tom” (bobcat) on a newborn calf – bovine, not wapiti. I’m not sure what surprised me most: a calf born at this time of year (or that the cow still is here) or a bobcat! I’ve seen one in the basin, way too quick for photos, after a rabbit. I’m not sure about the rabbit, but the bobcat got away (from me)!

Mariah, Houdini, Alegre, Maia

Mariah, Houdini, Alegre and Maia.

Grey

Grey/Traveler. He could do with a little more fat on his old bones, but he looks pretty hearty.

The temperature ranged from 12 to 17 degrees, according to the Jeep, while I was in the basin. After snowing all day, it stopped for an hour or two, then picked up again around sunset.

Yes, they’re all grey. 🙂