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?





Girls

19 07 2011

Now for some girls. πŸ™‚ From the same evening with Comanche’s and Hollywood’s band.

Briosa and Eliana with Eli’s mom and Bri’s (likely) grandma – Mahogany.

A little girl (Juniper) in a great big country. The hill in the middle distance is Flat Top.

Juni walking up to big sister Winona.

Later … I’m not entirely sure whether she was whinnying at Hollywood or Bri and Eli.

Briosa with mama Piedra

Eliana with mama Mahogany

Mama/grandma Mahogany with her girls …

… She seems to have a little more patience for both of them together. Piedra has less patience with Eliana … but watching Eliana and Briosa, it’s easier to tell which of the mares outrank which – Eliana, the little princess, is clearly the leader between her and Briosa – even though Bri is older and bigger.

But Bri is a bit more curious!

They do hang out quite a bit together now. πŸ™‚

Besotted? Who, me?! πŸ™‚





Little red misses

27 05 2011

I’m liking this change:

Briosa

Eliana

What do they have in common?

! πŸ™‚

What else might they have in common?

Mahogany might be Piedra’s mother, which might make Eliana Piedra’s sister … Briosa’s aunt.

Mahogany and Eliana

Piedra and Briosa. The funniest thing about this photo is the backstory. Briosa had been nursing and must have slurped a bit too hard because mama delivered a swift reprimand in the form of a snap to her little heiney – which provoked a little kicking fit from both of them! “Don’t bite the udder that feeds you”?! Learned early! πŸ™‚

Hollywood was working to keep his girls close … because Aspen showed up on a hill a short distance away.

To recap, Sundance had Mahogany for a bit more than a year, then two weeks ago, he finally lost Mahogany and Eliana to Aspen the day after I first met Eli. Sometime in the last two weeks, Hollywood managed to steal them from Aspen. To go a little farther back, the winter before this last, Hook briefly stole Piedra and Sage from Hollywood. He had them a shorter than the winter before, when Aspen stole them!

Shall we go even further back in time?

Mahogany and Piedra were originally part of Steeldust’s band. When I first started documenting the horses, Hollywood had Jif … and then they started hanging out with Steeldust’s … that was in the days when the Bachelor 7 were running around with them, too. Then Grey/Traveler stole Jif to add to Houdini and Two Boots and Twister, and Holls turned his attention to lovely Piedra. Bri is their third baby!

Bri is a month old, and Eli is about 2 weeks old – enough age difference that Bri is more independent than her aunt Eli (!), who still sticks pretty close to mama.

So here’s a question: Who is alpha? Piedra, who has been with Hollywood for a few years now, or Mahogany, who is older – and possibly Piedra’s dam – but newly come to the family?

Oh, the wild ways of the wild ones!

Can you stand the cuteness?

How amazing it will be to watch these red babies grow together!

Little beauties. How amazing they are! And together!? Look out! πŸ™‚





Eliana and family

17 05 2011

Eliana is the daughter of Mahogany and Sundance. When the fracturing of Steeldust’s band started in earnest last spring, Mahogany ended up with Sundance – and bachelor Aspen. Just a day or two after Eliana was born – and the day after I first saw her – Aspen finally succeeded in stealing her from Sundance. Among the meanings of her name is “daughter of the sun” – and so she is, not to be forgotten, though Aspen now has her and Mahogany.

Mahogany lost her foal last year before I ever saw it. This adorableΒ  little red girl is healthy and strong and full of spunk!

Mama Mahogany and her beautiful, sunny girl.

I love how the babies’ ears are curled after they’re born.

Though I don’t like to think about how any of the babies may have died, I am glad Mahogany got a break last year. She’s an older mare, though I don’t know how old, and she looks much better with Eliana than she did last year.

Aspen, Sundance, Mahogany and Eliana.

Handsome daddy Sundance – this was the next day, when he was alone and nursing some wounds.

Check out that wavy mane … who else has a wavy mane like that? Maybe he has passed it to his daughter – daughter of the Sun.

Grand ol’ beautiful lady is also an excellent mama.

Baby girl has a wide blaze like mama’s, but Eliana’s tapers over to the right side. Since I’ve known Mahogany, she has had two dark bays like herself (Pinon may be even darker) and a black foal. Piedra – grey – *may* be her daughter … and David may be her son (scroll down a couple of posts to compare). Eliana is the first sorrel she has had in that time.

I love, too, how the mamas constantly touch and sniff their newborns. Constant contact builds strong bonds.

I adore this moment – for itself and because I have a nearly identical photo from when Pinon (now 3) was a baby – with the exact same expression on his face as mama Mahogany reassures herself that her baby is just fine. πŸ™‚





Happy birthday, Sable!

7 05 2011

Sable is 2 today!

She’s an auntie (with Fierro there) …

… and a sister …

And I think she’s close to becoming a mom.

Hard to believe, eh?

Happy birthday, Sable-beautiful girl!





Beauty in nature

1 04 2011

How many ways can I say it?

Let the magic speak for itself!

Mahogany’s, left, and Hook’s. This is taken from almost as far east as you can get in the basin – below the eastern ridges – looking west-northwest. They had been napping earlier … and later ended up separated again.

Pretty darn beautiful, eh?





Subtlety

23 03 2011

This will be at the top of posts until the deadline – Monday, March 28 – to call the Dolores Public Lands Office at (970) 882-6800 to request placement on the mailing list to be sent the scoping letter for the Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area roundup this fall. That should be coming out very soon.

*******************************************************************************

The following are photos from my visit with Hollywood’s, Comanche’s and Mahogany’s bands last week. They were once all part of Steeldust’s large band (except the youngsters and Iya) – though not for a couple of years now. πŸ™‚ Mahogany leaving with Sundance and bachelor Aspen is the most recent development.

Full brothers Tenaz, almost a yearling, left, and Sage, almost 2, right.

Here’s the rest of that story:

“Reading” stud pile messages. Iya in the background.

Mahogany (bay) and Sudance. SunD stays close to her to ward off Aspen. Mahogany is in much better shape this year after a year’s rest from raising a foal.

Mahogany is the dam of Baylee (almost 4), Pinon (almost 3) and Sable (almost 2). Bayles is with Hollywood; Pinon and Sable are with Hook. She should be due in May.

Aspen with Round Top in the background. See the road? It ends just above the curve you can see. That’s where I parked the day before and walked around the west side (to the right) and came back to the Jeep from the east side (left). Seven’s and Bruiser were “behind” it on the leftish side – basically southeastish.

I’m positive Iya is pregnant.

Baylee sure doesn’t look pregnant …

Watching me carefully while she rubs an itch using that greasewood! (Check out her lip!)

What do YOU think?

Straight-on of Baylee …

Straight-on of Iya.

Hang in there, mama Piedra. Only about another month for you.

If she’s as consistent as she was with Sage and Tenaz, she’s due around the end of April.

Sundance – check out that groovy, wavy mane.

Camouflage, naturally. (Did anyone see him in one of the pix above of Baylee?)

As he grows up, he reminds me more of Chrome in his carriage.

Comanche

I had been photographing Sage and Tenaz playing over the stud pile when I noticed ‘Nona moseying in our direction. Hollywood’s had spread out grazing, but Tenaz was lingering even after Sage had wandered off. Oh, sly boy, I wonder why? πŸ™‚

Winona walking down into the shallow arroyo. Sure-footed and beautiful.

Earlier, Tenaz sticking to big brother.

Big trot …

Do you see the future? Mr. Tenaz guarding his family? Brother Sage and auntie Iya in the background.

Watching daddy Hollywood, who hadn’t yet crossed the arroyo. Don’t you see Hollywood in this boy?

Curious George, err, I mean Tenaz. πŸ™‚

I went on up the hill to watch them, and Mahogany and SunD came up and past me again … Lack of golden sunshine didn’t diminish the beauty of the basin.

Someone in Telluride asked me (basically): Of all the wonderful places in the West that are loved and cherished and protected and should be protected, what’s so special about Spring Creek Basin?

An innocent question (I think … I hope) … one whose answers completely undid me.

“It’s magic,” I finally managed. I can’t remember what else I said through my tear-choked throat.

Is magic enough? To protect this place that most would see as empty, desolate, scrubby and lonesome and well off anyone’s definition of a beaten track?

I think I tried to say that I write a blog to try to tell people just what’s so special about it … Mostly, my attempts fall short.

The wind, howling the day before, howling overnight, was still at dawn and for a couple of hours … until it returned seemingly out of nowhere about midmorning. I got up to head back down the hill, and saw that Winona had laid down for a nap not far below me.

Ordinary? She’s watching a pair of noisy (mating?) ravens flying across the hill that had been with us all morning. Maybe, to her, alert to the goings-on of her world. Extraordinary.

Loved the soft light illuminating her mane, the dark eastern ridges rising above her, complementing her buckskin gold.

Head. So. Heavy.

What’s so special?

Really?

Do words even exist??