A day away …

19 01 2009

The inauguration of our 44th president is tomorrow. Lots of pomp and circumstance surrounding the event (is it just me or is the inauguration of any new president, sort of by definition, a historic event?), but what I’m most excited about is the hope of catching the mustangs with the U.S. Border Patrol during the parade!

If you’re a regular reader, of course, you know that Justice, one of our own Spring Creek Basin horses, is one of those mustangs.  According to the BLM Web site that has information about the horses and their agents, Justice is one of four buckskins in the group that will be marching. I’m not even sure that I’ll be able to pick him out! Brutus, Buck and Justice all have manes that fall on the left sides of their necks, and Zeus’ mane falls on the right side. Brutus and Buck have short little forelocks (in the pix), and Justice and Zeus have long forelocks. Zeus may be a lighter buckskin than Justice. Here’s the link again to check out the pix and agent bios:

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/news/inaugural_parade_horses.html

Also, my story about Justice going to Washington came out last Friday in The Durango Herald. Here’s the link:

http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/Features/Outdoors/2009/01/16/Justice_goes_to_Washington/

My email is not working right at the moment (since about last Thursday). I can sort of get email (sometimes), but I can’t log on to send it (most of the time). So my apologies to those of you I told I’d send the link!

I spent the weekend – glorious, glorious, glorious! – in the basin and saw all the horses but Bounce’s band and Poco, Bones and Roach. That means Poco, Bones and Roach are the only horses I haven’t seen yet this year (I saw Bounce’s band from a distance last Sunday). Everybody else looks great. Kiowa seems to be showing some ribs, but she shouldn’t foal this year (she got the PZP), so hopefully she’ll have the coming year to bounce back. Spook is still nursing.

There is at least one change in band dynamics to report, but you’ll have to wait for the full report to find out which band! I thought there was going to be a second case of change, but I watched them long enough to see order re-established, and all seems to be well. I watched the first band for quite a while, too, but it just confirmed the change.

I could get used to Januarys like this one, but the basin needs snow now so it doesn’t dry up in the summer and just blow away, so I’m hopeful for more winter yet to come. I hiked past the dry water hole on the back side (southwest) of Round Top, and not only is it still dry, there’s not even any snow in/on the bed. It has all melted except the far edge that faces north and a little in the north flats. But it’s still early, and I hope water will collect again for at least the first part of the spring.

It’s cool to be out in the basin during all seasons. It was warm enough to hike without a coat but still cold enough (and with enough snow) to know it’s winter!





More Justice

13 01 2009
Check out this link, forwarded to me earlier today by Bob Ball (thanks!). It shows pictures of all the horses going to Washington, D.C., with the Border Patrol for the inaugural parade and has biographies of the agents. The site also lists which herd management area each horse came from and where they’re stationed now with the Border Patrol: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/news/inaugural_parade_horses.html
And here are a couple more photos of Justice:
Justice as renegade

Justice as renegade

This photo was taken in early June 2008 by BLM herd area manager Bob Ball. Justice is outside the west boundary fence, and the picture is taken looking east. You can see the green storage tank at the water catchment in the background.

Justice with his trainer
Justice with his trainer

This photo, taken by Fran Ackley, Wild Horse and Burro Program leader for the BLM in Colorado, shows Justice with the inmate who trained him. He started training Justice to carry a flag when they thought he might be a candidate for the Border Patrol. The inmate’s face has been darkened to protect his privacy.