They are velvet

4 12 2020

On another sharp evening, Killian and Shadow graze peacefully. Bundled in several layers, with my hoodie hood held in place against the wind by the strings, knotted under my chin, I envied them their fuzzy coats. They didn’t seem to be at all bothered by the bite of the wind.

The weather still is terribly dry, with nothing in our forecast that resembles any kind of precipitation.

Day of giving thanks

26 11 2020

On this day of thanksgiving, I thought I’d share some images from the other day when I hiked to the top of Flat Top in Spring Creek Basin. Among the many objects of my gratitude: moisture. And these pix show it in most obvious form. 🙂

Starting about halfway up one of the western fins, this is looking west-northwestish across part of the western part of the basin. Filly Peak is the prominent hill at left. Part of Spring Creek canyon is visible on the right side of the image. Lingering clouds obscure most of Utah’s La Sal Mountains in the far distance. Note how much snow has already melted in the lower regions of Spring Creek Basin and far lower Disappointment Valley.

This is looking to the north-northwest.

And looking to the west-southwest. That’s Filly Peak again at far right. The already-meltedness is obvious in this image.

From the top, southern edge of Flat Top, this is the view looking across a small part of the southern part of Spring Creek Basin and across Disappointment Road (not visible), where the land rises to the south, encompassing more BLM land (outside the herd management area) before the invisible border where it meets San Juan National Forest.

From the east side of Flat Top, looking east: Round Top across most of the image, McKenna Peak at mid-left and Temple Butte at center-back.

The top of Flat Top isn’t really that big – and it’s also really not that flat, despite its appearance from below-the-top ground level. It’s made up of fins of ridges that stretch out and down, mostly to the northwestish and north on the north and west sides. In one little drainage, there’s a random little cluster of pinon-juniper trees – evidence of the collection, at least at one time, of moisture needed to grow trees.

The top of Round Top also really isn’t that big. I’ve been on top of that hill many, many times; the top of Flat Top, not so many times.

And here I am, back on the west side of Flat Top, stopping for one more soaking in of the view, even as the snow was soaking into the ground. Even more had melted in the time I was on top.

Those are my tracks from my hike up the ridge-fin. Melty-melty. I followed them back down …

… for one more visit with some of the wild horses for which I am so grateful. Look how the ground around the shadscale and sage already has been slurped by the plants. Yes, it was extraordinarily, sloppily, marvelously muddy. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, for whom I’m also grateful! My family, of course, tops my list this day, and though I can’t be with them, we’re together in spirit, as I hope so many of you are with your own families if you’re avoiding travel.

Peaceful wishes and gratitude to you all!

A scene of ahhhhhhhhhh

17 11 2020

If that view doesn’t bring your blood pressure down, I don’t know what will. 🙂

At the edge of almost night

15 11 2020

Handsome Kwana rocks our new snowy horizon.

A little red during the grey

8 11 2020

Yesterday was a day grey and very windy … and superbly, wonderfully soggy!!!!!

Above, Tesora displays her gorgeousity at the end of a magnificent day in Spring Creek Basin a few days ago, when the air was warm and the ground was dry, dry, dry. But as I didn’t have pix of soaking wet mustangs, I thought she’d have to do. 🙂

We are SO grateful for the moisture. It is seriously needed.

Classic view

25 10 2020

Skywalker sports a very impressive round belly heading into winter. 🙂

He must not have been getting a very warm welcome from the band behind him. I caught up to them just as he was starting his march to another band, where his bachelor buddy was already hanging out.

If our forecast is to be believed, wet stuff is on the way this afternoon … !

Rimrock delight

20 10 2020

Alegre and a couple of her mare buddies seemed slightly affronted when the rest of the band left the water catchment after they all drank and wandered up the hill for better grazing. But once they decided that their friends weren’t waiting and weren’t coming back, Alegre and co. decided they’d better get in gear.

If you look closely – which is to say far away – you might see that the flanks of Utah’s La Sal Mountains were still tinged with gold (about 10 days ago). Now, the aspens have spent their glory, and the cottonwoods are the stars of the riparian shows.

They are the magic

14 10 2020

Hollywood’s band on a bench just below the top of Round Top in Spring Creek Basin. The top is just above my right shoulder. This is looking basically northwestish, and the basin stretches across the middle background.

Mares wait for no stallion

13 10 2020

Kwana follows his ladies away from their evening drink.

The mountains are clearer than they’ve been lately. Our temps dropped, which is lovely, but no clouds means no rain.

Other views

1 10 2020

Readers have seen a lot of pix of La Sal Mountains in my photos of mustangs in Spring Creek Basin. They form a pretty dramatic range on our northwestern horizon.

During a couple of recent aspen-leaf-peeping drives, I had the opportunity to see our landmarks from different perspectives, including from those not-so-far-away La Sals.

Spring Creek Basin, in Disappointment Valley, is a little hazy with smoke in this view southeast from below Mount Peale (the highest La Sal peak), and in this smallish view, maybe hard to pick out. But visible – in the upper, farthest area of the pic – are McKenna Peak, Temple Butte, submarine ridge (my name for it), Brumley Point, Round Top, Flat Top, Filly Peak and the rimrocks on the western edge of the basin.

Autumn-tinged Gambel oak is in the foreground.

This may be the most colorful image I’ll ever get to take of Temple Butte.

It’s taken from a couple of miles east of Groundhog Reservoir, looking northwestish. Spring Creek Basin is on the *other* side of Temple Butte from this perspective.

Happy autumn. I hope you’re all enjoying the colors of the changing season and the cooler temps!