Green = good

22 07 2020

That looks lovely, right?! That’s nearly all of San Miguel County – McKenna Peak is outside the basin’s eastern boundary – under wonderful green, which in radar terms, of course, means RAIN.

Except that it wasn’t actually raining when I took this screenshot (around quarter after 8 a.m.). The heavens had leaked a little a little while earlier, but someone fixed (!) the leak. (Note to someone: We’re really OK with that kind of leak … and it could rip right open … really!)

We are so hopeful, and we need it BADLY – GOODLY? … We need the goodness of it in a really bad way ’cause it’s really kinda bad dry out there.

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 that beautiful

18 05 2020


Storm was peacefully grazing along, and I was patiently watching to catch him in a better “pose” with that spectacular background, looking across Spring Creek Basin and Disappointment Valley, all the way to Utah! Maybe looking back to his mares or something.

Suddenly, the “something” happened, and he stopped with his head up, then performed a neat turn on the haunches and headed in the direction of the trees to the right. I never did figure out what caught his attention. But it gave me a nice little photo op of one of my very favorite boys with the La Sals still gleaming under a bit of snow in the distance.

Gold from the sky

12 05 2020


We did get some sprinkles yesterday in a couple of light waves, mostly in the evening.

It’s all welcome, and we’re grateful for even the smallest amount of moisture.

Little things … that become ginormous

2 05 2020


Do you see the little bird, taking flight in front of Raven?

Do you see the head and ears of the horse below and beyond Raven?

Do you see Raven, divine wild girl, in all that delicious evening light?

Do you feel the magic?


My friends, my fellow lovers of Spring Creek Basin’s marvelous mustangs, the draft HMAP EA is out for comments. (That’s herd management area plan environmental assessment in non-acronym-speak, and it lays out the overall plan for the next umpteen years of management of our Spring Creek Basin mustangs.)

It’s kinda huge.

OK, in the grand scheme of all that’s going on in the country, in the world, right now, it’s a blip. And I do not make light of those who are suffering terribly now, in so many ways.

This EA represents countless hours and days and weeks and months – the last couple of years – of work by our uber-respected BLM herd manager, Mike Jensen, at Tres Rios Field Office in Dolores, Colorado. It represents field work (vegetation monitoring, land-health assessments), and it represents computer time. It represents a career spent doing good things, positive things, for the ranges he has managed during his work with BLM. It represents gathering facts, lining up the science, listening to partners, speaking to a wide variety of people … and honoring the good management we’ve achieved, together, for Spring Creek Basin’s mustangs, these descendants of horses from cavalry, Native American, settler stock and beyond, and ensuring that what we have worked so hard to achieve will be set down in the herd management area plan going forward for Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area.

I cannot overstate the enormity of this document and what it represents. I cannot overstate the positivity of what this document represents.

It means our Spring Creek Basin mustangs will be as well managed as possible, protected, the range on which they depend will be protected, and we will continue to do all in our power to ensure that they live long, healthy lives, as wild and free as they were born to be.

There’s a lot of crazy in the world, yes. BUT. Spring Creek Basin, as so many have discovered, is a place of peace and beauty and magic and partnership, and our goals, set so long ago, are coming to fruition.

Among other things, Alternative A (preferred, of course) sets the appropriate management level (AML) at 50 to 80 adult horses, an increase from the current 35 to 65 adult horses. As Mike said, the science (the vegetation monitoring, the land-health assessments, the PZP fertility-control program) supports it. This is absolutely what I have hoped and prayed and worked so hard to have happen … for what seems like a million years.

Don’t worry – we will continue to introduce mares periodically to ensure the viability of our small herd’s genetic health. And don’t forget: Spring Creek Basin is almost 22,000 acres of high-desert, low-rainfall, kinda-scrubby, perfect-for-wild-horses geography. Translation: It’s small in terms of ranges, and we worry about water even in good years. Also keep in mind that BLM closed the allotment to livestock grazing a few years ago, and with PZP treatments keeping our foal crops low each year, we CAN increase the AML a bit and not fear that it will reduce the current quality of the range. That’s a win-win.

BLM also will continue the current, natural, 50-50 stallions-to-mares ratio. Also good.

Here’s the link to the eplanning site (the above link will take you directly to the PDF):

Once there, click on the “Documents” link on the left side of the page. Then click the “Draft EA and Appendices” link. (Below that is the link to the scoping letter that we commented on a couple of months ago.) Then click the PDF icon to the left of “Document Name: Draft DOI-BLM-CO-S010-2020-0009-EA.pdf.” A new tab will open in your browser with the PDF document of the draft HMAP EA.

There are only two “Proposed Actions and Alternatives”: “Alternative A – Preferred Action” and “Alternative B – No Action.” We, of course, prefer the preferred Alternative A. 🙂

Please comment as you have before (the deadline is May 30), for the mustangs. For all the work and blood and sweat and tears (I was crying (with joy) so hard when I called my mom yesterday morning, she couldn’t understand me and thought something was wrong!) freely given from all of us who have worked so hard to get to this point. For Mr. Mike Jensen, BLM herd manager and range specialist extraordinaire, who created this management plan that includes all our hopes for our mustangs’ futures.

This is a shining ray of light in the way things can be done for our mustangs. We are so grateful.

Thank you, thank you and thank you.


For this little guy and all those that were born to be wild and free in Spring Creek Basin – and all those yet to come into their wild world.

Welcome green on a computer screen

22 04 2020


Of course, there’s a bit of blue (snow) and red-and-yellow (heavy rain), too, but the moisture is what we’re concerned with, and it’s the moisture that lessens our considerable concern this early in the spring because of the *lack* of it for months and and months now.

Spring Creek Basin is mostly to the eastish and southeastish of the lowermost red-and-yellow blob. Some of it, yes, is not green-covered on the version of the weather map shown (KWTX Channel 10 is my parents’ news station in Central Texas, and it does feature an excellent radar map), but I’m confident that our our whole little region got a little bit of soothing drizzle for slightly more than a few minutes yesterday in the late afternoon.


There’s nothing quite as uplifting in the high desert, in spring, than the sight of sprinkles drizzling from the heavens and the scent of that divine wetness-on-dry-desert-sage permeating the air.


The above was typed around 4:30 or 5 p.m. Tuesday (yesterday).

The below, around 6:30ish p.m., kept happening:


We’re kinda happy on this Earth Day. 🙂

Happy 50th anniversary to this official celebration of our Earth. We owe her everything.

Little braveheart

7 04 2020


Look at that little elk-girl staring me down while her aunties flow past.

She’s got spunk!

Light before wet

24 03 2020


This …


and this …


led to a little of this yesterday afternoon. 🙂 Note the rain in the background. We did get a little dampness.

Happy, new

1 01 2020


It’s here! 2020!

Much of our current technology makes our lives easier or better, but the things most lacking in technology still might be the ones that bring us the most peace and happiness. Spending time in the natural world, on trails, not roads, with mustangs, not on social media, brings me the most peace and happiness.

When I scrolled down through the blog posts from the last year, it became apparent that I tend to repeat a few basic words:




Beauty = It surrounds me. It lifts me. It is a constant in my life. From the mustangs themselves to this little paradise in southwestern Colorado, beauty permeates my life.

Moisture = We always seem to need it … and more of it. 🙂 When we’re lacking it, we worry. When we receive it, we’re grateful.

Gratitude = The most important aspect of appreciating all that surrounds us in this life, the challenges as well as the blessings.

There’s a lot going on in the world today. Many headlines are negative and, in some cases, downright terrifying. There tends to be a feeling of dismay, of crushing hopelessness, the thought that any one of us can’t do anything against the onslaught of doom.

And yet light shines. Possibly – probably – in more places than we realize. For all the negative headlines, there are stories that don’t make headlines, that go unnoticed except by the people involved.

We have a pretty good story going here in Spring Creek Basin. Our partnership with BLM has resulted in a mustang herd that is well-managed and cherished.

Our horses are beautiful. We have moisture.

We are grateful.

Here’s to more of the same in 2020. 🙂

We know magic

17 12 2019


Don’t miss the mustangs for the mountains. 🙂

Hint: They’re just inside the line of shade at middle-left in the photo. In the middle-ground of the photo is the north rim of Spring Creek canyon. The farthest “point” forms part of Spring Creek Basin’s western boundary.

Disappointment Valley got a varying amount of snow – about an inch in the basin.