Heaven in a meadow

4 08 2011

The northwest “meadow” is the new east pocket.

There’s grass. There’s water.

Horses are there.

Four beautiful bands … and Kreacher’s – and Duke – were just to my left.

Beautiful day. How could I have thought he wouldn’t still be there?





Boy band

13 07 2011

Is there anything as fun as watching bachelors? 🙂

Most of our older bachelors have found families, and we have a new generation of bachelors. They’ve been together, they’ve paired up, they’ve split, they’ve found older boys, they’ve found boys slightly less old. During last week’s visit, all the young boys were with Aspen and Sundance (who have their own history), and they were all hanging out close to Luna’s band, which has Lt. Steeldust (formerly the band stallion) and satellite Mouse (and those two have gone back and forth in recent weeks). This visit, Mouse was entertaining the boys while Steeldust and Butch stayed close to the girls (Luna and Alpha).

Bachelor boy butts. 🙂 Might as well start with a chuckle, eh? In back is Milagro, then left to right: Sundance, Cuatro, Ze, Sage and Aspen.

Luna’s band: Steeldust at back left, Butch, Gideon barely visible, Alpha, Luna and napping Varoujan. He kept lying down … and the girls would graze away, and he’d get up and follow … and lie back down … and they’d graze away …

The little with mama Luna and “auntie” Alpha.

Sage, Cuatro and Mouse

Butch finally decided to leave the girls (and Steeldust) and come check out the competition, all of whom were politely respectful. That’s Sage he’s stretching toward, Ze to Sage’s left, Mouse in back and Aspen at right. Who spots napping Varoujan?

Varo napping while Cuatro grazes.

Ze walking past napping Varo. He was followed by Aspen – most of the boys are to the left, and Varo’s band is to the right. None of the stallions made so much as a threatening flick of the ear toward the little boy.

Sundance mostly ignored the goings-on. Milagro tended to stick back with him. He’s quite a bit smaller than the other colts, as you can see in the first pic of their butts toward me. He, Sage, Ze and Cuatro are all 2 years old. Sundance is probably about 6; Aspen and Mouse are probably about 6-8ish.

Mouse, right, and Cuatro.

Mouse, front, and Sage.

Ze – that’s Cuatro, grazing, at right.

Ze and Cuatro again – comfortable with each other. They’ve been together and apart … the pal-pairs are Sage and Ze and Cuatro and Milagro.

Just makes me smile. 🙂 From left: Cuatro, Aspen, Sage and Mouse.

And wider, to show some of the beautiful background – looking eastish.

Varoujan napping, framed by grazing daddy Butch.

Can you even stand how cute he is?! Just a tired little boy who’s been playing in the mud and is now all tuckered out. 🙂

Taking steps to convince mama it’s lunch time. How DO little boys get so covered in mud?! 🙂

I caught up on some pix of ponies today – more coming.





Some to love

27 06 2011

It occurred to me that I wouldn’t get any of these posted if I tried to do them in some kind of order – the always way of it these days – so here are some pix of some horses … Beautiful, all.

Houdini and Deniz.

I’ve been expecting the usual migration westward as the forage and water grows scarce back in the east. One of the two ponds back there is holding pretty steady, though, so several bands are (still) taking advantage of it. Grey/Traveler’s band, however, had made the trip, and I found them at afternoon water in the Wildcat Spring area. There’s enough water there this year – interestingly – that there are some stagnant pockets of it along the wash. I heard the girls (Terra, Gemma and Corona) playing in one such puddle, though I couldn’t get a clear look at them because of the obscuring greasewood on the banks. Mama and baby and Grey were above the arroyo. Deniz is going grey fast, like sister Gemma. She’s a big tall girl, eh?

Baby girls Briosa, left, and Eliana, with Bri’s mama Piedra in the background. Eli’s mama Mahogany was grazing down to the right (a pic is with the “Oppose sterilization” post of a few days ago). I wanted my wide-angle lens for, well, not the first time, I guess, to try to capture some of the beautiful background of the basin “behind” the fillies as they napped.

There’s some of it behind Hollywood, who was, I think, watching Aspen and Sundance, close-ish again. In the near background is part of the north side of the east-west hill, and in the far-ish background (not all the way back) is part of what I call Lizard Mesa.

Eli gives Bri a little post-nap nuzzle. They’re now at the age to be interested in each other. Bri, not quite a month older than Eli, is considerably bigger and stouter.

Sunny little Eliana is just a beautiful little princess of a filly.

Piedra was closest, and after she got up, Bri walked right over for a snack. Eli lingered, though, taking her sweet time walking down the slope, stopping, looking at mama, at stepdaddy (Sundance is Eliana’s sire), at me, back at Bri … before finally going on down for her own lunch. Bri’s a stout little girl, eh? Takes after daddy.

Speaking of daddies, here’s Varoujan with his daddy – Butch.

And with mama.

Kreacher’s band weren’t too far, and I waited for them, too, to mosey their way up to, across and off the road (it was like rush hour out there! 😉 ). This was a horizontally shot image I took through the passenger-side window and cropped into a vertical. I also took the image a post or so back of Apollo looking through his legs horizontally and cropped it vertically. I crop almost all my photos – some more than others.

Heading out of the basin for the evening: Hook’s band. I couldn’t decide between this one and …

… this one. Ponies gilded with light, those hills in the back! The near-ish hills are part of Spring Creek Basin, our northwest hills; the far-ish hills to the sky are outside the basin but still part of Disappointment Valley, basically, the far northeastern edge (the basin is tucked a little lower into the valley’s east-northeastern side). From left: black Sable and grey Twister, hanging with the band; almost yearling Fierro looking toward the camera and dark bay Pinon behind him; grey Ember, bay Hannah and Hook. Ember is due close to any time now.





More miscellaneous (magic)

14 06 2011

No rhyme or reason, really, just beautiful horses. 🙂

Queenly Alpha.

If Alpha is a queen, Luna is an empress. She continually amazes me with … with everything about her.

Little Varoujan was named by our visiting Armenian journalist Aghavni, you might remember. My friend N, visiting this day, wanted to get pix of him to send to her. We visited with them out in a “meadow,” then moved on and stopped again to wait for Grey/Traveler’s band to move out from the pond. After they did, we walked down to check its depth (so shallow, you can see the mud and mat-like vegetation (?)). We also saw these crazy tadpoles?! HUGE. Leggy, turning-into-frogs creatures they were that gave us shadowy glimpses before darting into mud or mat. We also started seeing flashes of glittery greenish-goldish things that looked suspiciously scaled.

We started to move around the edge of the pond, and so engrossed were we that when I happened to look back, I was stunned to see Luna, leading her band to the pond! I nudged N, and we continued on around and sat down, trying to be as quiet and inconspicuous as possible – though obviously the horses weren’t at all bothered by our presence.

N had me in tears yesterday, telling me how magical was her visit to the basin and how she couldn’t stop thinking about the horses.

I start thinking, “maybe it’s just me.” “Maybe I’m crazy that after all this time, not only do they STILL affect me, they affect me – every time – more than the last time.”

But no. It’s not just me. These amazing horses truly are magic.

Handsome Mouse. One of my favorite bachelors. With any luck, he’ll be left and will find himself a mare …

Big brother Gideon resting his chin over little brother Varoujan’s heiny, mama Luna close at hand.

Spook and Bruiser. We watched them between leaving Luna’s and waiting for Grey’s to leave the pond. We wandered all around that day, and like N remarked, we almost always saw Spook and Big B no matter where we were.

Varoujan skipping ahead to Luna as they neared the pond. Alpha’s expression is directed more to Gideon, bringing up the rear, than to baby Varo. You can just see the edge of the pond at the bottom of the photo, and N and I have moved around it to sit down out of their way.

I couldn’t decide which perspective I liked better. Gideon adores his “auntie” Alpha.

Baby Varoujan and mama Luna

Big bro and little bro

Loved how big brother and mama’s tail “frame” the littlest mister.

I posted one similar to this last week … Couldn’t resist this one, too.

Another similar one … I’ll end it here for today …

If you could explain magic, it wouldn’t be. I can’t explain it. I know it. I believe in it.





Close at hand

6 06 2011

These pix of Varoujan and family – and trailer – were all taken from my Jeep, on the road, through the driver’s side window.

The full midday sunshine doesn’t do this little guy justice – he’s just handsome as heck!

Big brother Gideon reminds me so much of big sister Hannah, and not just in color. He was being encouraged by both Mouse and Steeldust (likely his sire though he was raised with Butch as head of the band) to stay with the group and not linger back with interloper Aspen.

He’s shedding out of his darker hair, leaving behind that smooth, beautiful red-bay.

Varo and mama Luna. He has full run of the family, and you’ll just as likely see him hanging out with grandpa Steeldust as daddy Butch as brother Gideon (they’ve really started to hang out and play now) as auntie Alpha as mama!

Steeldust taunting Aspen.

Butch looking back at Aspen.

Aspen up on a hill looking down at the band – deterred – for now.





Dawn and on

24 05 2011

Still have lots to share from almost two weeks ago … looking forward to getting back to the basin this week, weather-permitting. Loved getting all that moisture (including snow!), but I can hardly stand not having been in the basin for two weeks. I want to see it GREEN, like we’ve hardly had yet this year (the green-up was as subtle as I’ve ever seen it, and the cheat grass has already gone to purple), and I want to see ponds brimming with water. I want to see all the babies and families! Don’t know what I’ll find … and that’s why I’m so eager to get back out!

Juniper, mama Kestrel and daddy Comanche. For whatever reason, I just love knowing Comanche is a full-fledged daddy … He has taken such good care of Winona.

Baby girl in the spotlight

Isn’t she divine?

And the whole world is new and interesting and beautiful, to be explored and marveled at.

Then they left the shadows of the trees for the morning sunlight.

All things bright and beautiful …

All things wise and wonderful …

It was a gorgeous morning. If snow fell in the basin last week with the rain, I wonder what she made of that? What all the babies – tough little mustang babies, made of stern gossamer stuff – made of it? I hope they delighted in it and kicked up their tiny heels and ran for joy of life!

We wandered over the pinon-juniper island and found Luna’s band already hard at work at nap time. There’s just about nothing better than napping in that delicious morning sunshine after the day’s first trip to the water hole. At least, that’s my take on it. 🙂

Alpha was just to the left. I think Mouse was a little back, also to the left.

Zeroing in … Steeldust is likely Varoujan’s granddaddy (likely sire of Butch).

The littlest mister laid down …

And big brother Gideon came thiiiiiiis close to joining him … His nodding head dropped so low, I was sure he was going to lie down, but he never did.

Meanwhile, just a little distance away …

Big sister Winona, fascinated by the baby …

Ha! Mama Kestrel was just steps away to the left. Pretty soon, these two will be playing together and running circles around mama and daddy!

Handsome daddy Comanche

He stays close …

🙂

Baby girl couldn’t resist the call of nap time, either …

Like mama Luna, like daughter Kestrel … I really don’t know how to articulate how I feel when I sit with these horses, in the sunlight of a beautiful spring morning, a million miles away from anywhere and everywhere. It’s the most incredible gift to be able to do that, feeling their quiet magic all around. I am grateful beyond words … I am amazed beyond reason … It keeps me going back, it makes me do everything I can to ensure their survival in the best conditions possible. Above all things but my own family, they are my light in this world.

Juniper

Luna the beautiful and wise, mother of (at least) Kestrel, Ember, Hannah, Gideon and Varoujan; grandmother of (at least) Winona, Fierro and Juniper. We are so blessed to have her (she came from Sand Wash Basin in 2001).

Varo and Luna, Gideon and Alpha in back.

Do you see all their eyes? Luna and Varo, of course, Alpha … and Gideon? I love trying to capture images like this – puzzle pieces of family life.

Baby gives mama a schnuzzle …

Mama gives baby a schnuzzle! I love how her mobile lips are stretched out to him.

Mama, always a comforting presence …

Loved the light on him against the shadowed arroyo wall behind him.

Just love … just always simply love.





Light and beauty, beauty and light

22 05 2011

Truly, sometimes I have no words. In the basin, with them, I just hang on tight to the moment, the moments, the glorious beauty all around me, us, them. They carry it with them … the world accentuates all that they are.

What’s the saying?

When God created the horse, he said to the magnificent creature: I have made thee as no other. All the treasures of the earth shall lie between thy eyes. Thou shalt cast thy enemies between thy hooves, but thou shalt carry my friends upon thy back. Thy saddle shall be the seat of prayers to me. And thou fly without any wings, and conquer without any sword. ~ The Koran

How could it be said any better?

These images were all taken from about half an hour before sunset to a little past the same day as the pictures in the “Till Dawn” post.

It’s plentiful, it’s prickly, it has slender, rubbery “leaves,” and the horses seem to think of it as candy. I’ve seen them surrounded by grass – actual grass – and still nibbling (as Gideon here) on greasewood.

Grey/Traveler and his daughter Terra

Mama Houdini, baby Deniz and yearling Gemma were out of sight in a little draw down and behind Grey and Terra.

King, emperor, knight in shining silver of Spring Creek Basin.

Alpha, queen, empress, once his favorite …

Mouse

Varoujan and daddy Butch

And good night …