Quiet returns

7 04 2021

And so does the wildlife. 🙂

Up, up they go.

As the elk disappeared over the ridge, some other visitors made a fly-by appearance.

They paused for a quick family portrait … then went on up and over and were gone with the wind.

(The WIND! It has been BRUTAL the last two days, especially.)


7 01 2016


Corona is looking healthy and relaxed in the late afternoon.


Her visitors also were very calm and peaceful.

What? You don’t see them??

Elk in Spring Creek Basin.

Let’s zoom in.

It’s hard to estimate their numbers, but they may have been over AML. 🙂

There were quite a few more than shown in this image as the herd stretched out across one of the upper hillsides above Spring Creek canyon. The basin is a welcome wintering ground for mule deer and elk. When the snow in the high(er) country is very deep, these animals become our close neighbors again. After the pressures of hunting season, we’re happy to welcome them!

Visiting neighbors

24 01 2014

Elk herd in Spring Creek Basin.

These lovely ladies have made themselves at home in Spring Creek Basin. It surely beats wading through snow in the high country, though “snow” is a term planets away from this country this winter.

This pic was taken after sunset as I was walking away from a divine visit with the horses. Lots of critters call the basin home.


9 01 2013

The mustangs share Spring Creek Basin with other wildlife, including these beauties I saw during my last visit:

Elk in Spring Creek Basin

Elk in Spring Creek Basin

They were in a big group, too spread out to capture them all in one photo!

I came over the crest of a hill and saw them – and they saw me! – and off they went. Naturally, I took photos while I waited for them to put some distance between us! You can see the road in the background of the lower photo.

Disappointment Valley is a major wintering area for mule deer and elk. Seeing deer is nearly an everyday occurrence, but it’s pretty cool to see elk – and this many at one time!

Well … elk

16 02 2011

I’m still missing my ponies. The road is not awful – I did get in. The road is not good – I didn’t get very far in. The bands I saw were pretty far … but something caught my eye that I can’t confirm yet but hopefully soon.

The walking was worse than the driving, and wet, saturated, sloppy mud is my weakness. At 9 a.m., the temperature was a whopping 49 degrees! By 11:30, it was 51 … and spitting snow. Not rain. Snow. It was blowing – did I mention it felt like March? – so it wasn’t sticking except for half a second where it landed, where I confirmed they were, in fact, snow flakes. We are looking for snow, according to our forecast. And it’s February – on the west flank of the Rocky Mountains. It’s SUPPOSED to be cold. Snow is SUPPOSED to be on the ground. Still need some dancin’ … 🙂

So I have no pix of horses … Instead, I give you another type of four-leggeds that very briefly, seasonally, migrate through the basin:

The line across the bottom is the road. The elk are at the base of Filly Peak. That’s a northish-facing hill – hence the snow – and the reason I didn’t drive down there (that, and the elk). Very melty. Very soft.

The elk were bedded down when I drove into view and stopped so I could scan across the basin for horses. They all got up (at least one tired girl wasn’t too worried) … but I didn’t drive any closer, and when I turned around to head out, they had mostly all laid back down!

Just outside the basin’s boundary (on private land), I stopped to let a spike bull, yearling and cow across the road … then realized a BIG bunch were heading up a hill from below the level of the road:

Quite a crowd.

Running through Disappointment Creek. (Note how UNFROZEN it is.)

I was shooting through the window of the Jeep. They went up another hill, flowed over the fence like a great brown mass (unfortunately, my view was mostly blocked by willows or tamarisk or some other shrubby trees), across the road in front of me and up the other hill and out of sight. Within a few minutes, they were all gone.

Wider view. (Note the lack of snow on this hill – south-facing.)

We need snow. I like it when mud season comes later, and I like it when it comes after a lot more snow. 🙂