Getting the gleam

4 05 2021

The last time Tenaz appeared on the blog, he was looking a bit rough, in the throes of the latter stages of shedding his winter coat for his summer shorts. So when I saw him the other evening and was practically squinting in the glare of his shine from the angle of the setting sun, I set about trying to capture the full gloriousness of his bayness (!).

But while they are looking fabulous as the days warm suddenly into 80-degree territory, they’re also almost frantically hunting the elusive green (it’s not necessarily elusive … there’s just not a lot of it (… yet?)). So there’s kind of a whole lotta domesticity going on in the basin these days while the horses, well, simply graze. (In other words, he wasn’t quite willing to strike a “handsome-mustang” pose!)

This area of the basin is cut by several shallow arroyos that run down to join the Spring Creek arroyo, so thinking I’d try something different, I stepped into it and tried to photograph Tenaz with the band through his legs in the background.

He did seem at least slightly interested to know why I was suddenly half my normal height. 🙂

But it didn’t stop him from seeking the green!

‘Desert Chrome’

2 05 2021

‘Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West’

(Photo courtesy of Kathryn Wilder)

Kathryn Wilder‘s debut book, “Desert Chrome,” will be published in mid-May by Torrey House Press!

Longtime readers will recognize Kat’s name as an advocate for Spring Creek Basin mustangs. In this vulnerable, deeply touching and wide-ranging memoir, she recounts her life’s journey that eventually led her to Disappointment Valley and Spring Creek Basin – among earlier and parallel events that shaped her among heartbreak, water and wilderness. About the mustangs, she writes about getting to know them and the great strides we’ve made in the management of our herd with the use of PZP.

Kirkus Reviews calls it “testimony to the healing power of wildness” and “a spirited and impassioned chronicle.” And it is, without a doubt, all of that.

Suzanne Roy, fierce director of the American Wild Horse Campaign, wrote: “Kat Wilder’s beautifully written memoir takes us on a journey of a life lived on the move, full of love, loss and searching, finally finding peace among a herd of mustangs in Colorado’s magnificent Disappointment Valley. Wilder’s insight into the wild horses, why they’re worth saving and how to save them, will be of interest to anyone concerned with preserving the West’s last remaining wild spaces and the wild animals that inhabit them. A must read.”

Pre-order the book from Torrey House Press, your local independent bookstore or from Amazon.

Kat will be doing numerous readings, both virtual – Garcia Street Books in Santa Fe, and Maria’s Bookshop and Cortez Public Library here in Southwest Colorado – and in person at Sherbino Theater in Ridgway and Entrada Institute in Torrey, Utah.

Here are some particular deets:

Maria’s virtual event for “Desert Chrome” will start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20, on Zoom and Facebook Live. Check Maria’s events calendar page for details.

Kat’s first live reading will be from about 6 to about 7:45 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at The Livery in Norwood. This is basically our backyard! Head over to Between the Covers’ Facebook page to find out more.

The Cortez Public Library will have an online reading with Kat starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 26.

On Thursday, June 10, Ridgway’s Sherbino Theater will host Kat for a live reading from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Visit the website for tickets, on sale 30 days before the event. Ridgway’s also fairly local to us, and several mustang friends call it home.

If you’re in Torrey, Utah, on Saturday, June 26, stop by the Entrada Institute for a live reading.

Be sure to find and follow Kat on Facebook to keep up with other events as they’re scheduled, and I’ll post reminders about the above readings close to their happening dates.

(Kathryn Wilder’s “Desert Chrome” with Chrome’s newest grandson, Jasper, with Brumley Point and Temple Butte in the background; Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area, Disappointment Valley, Southwest Colorado)

Au naturel

29 04 2021

It doesn’t look like it here (Cassidy Rain did NOT hang around to model her beautiful self with the wind screaming at us), but this was one of the windiest days in the basin this spring (and as windy as it always is in the spring, and as WINDY as it has been even the last few days, that’s saying something). I got a kick out of a pic I saw recently of a Quarter Horse, posed saddled and bridled, on what the photographer said had been a windy day in Texas. They used two cans of hair spray to keep the horse’s mane neat for the photo.

Well, our secret mustang stylists don’t use hair spray, but there’s lots of wind spraying about … and I think it makes for the most LOVELY horses imaginable! 🙂 And fortunately, they’re finding wet spots in which to drink and roll. … And do you see the green? Yes, look hard … but it’s there.

(Note: I greatly respect the photographer mentioned above. It was just a funny thing to think about for someone (moi) who photographs way more mustangs than perfectly coiffed domestic horses. :))

Almost full

26 04 2021

How do you fill a heart full to bursting? How do you fill a heart already so full you think there’s no room left?

That’s the crazy thing about love, isn’t it? This little teeny muscle inside the human chest is just a little magical in its ability to hold all the love you can pour into it.

Every mustang, every visit, I love them all, every time, all the time. It’s simply impossible to feel otherwise. 🙂

So, really, there must always be at least a little bitty bit of room left? For all the days and all the love to feel?

Spring bling

20 04 2021

While Killian was browsing among the greening greasewood the other day, he emerged with a whole branch down his face, hanging from his forelock. I chuckled and asked if he’d model his “spring bling” for the folks back home. Alas, by the time I got into position to take his portrait, he had re-emerged from the greasewood sans branch.

As he ambled out of the greasewood thickets to graze the emerging grass (!), I realized that, with the true wisdom of mustangs, Killian was showing me the true bling of spring, and it was – thankfully – all around us.

Now, this was in the higher elevation southern part of the basin, which gets more moisture (note the presence of trees in the background). But there IS honest-to-goodness actual grass in them thar hills.

Also, from this position, I spotted another band. When I hiked over to visit them, I spotted yet another band. And that’s some real goodness in them thar hills. 🙂


19 04 2021

Hey, it’s hard to look fabulous when the wind is howling. Good looks and a hair-do like that doesn’t just happen naturally. … Oh, wait! Yes, it does!

Tenaz – rockin’ Colorado’s spring winds. You go, guy!

Rose glow

8 04 2021

Always a handsome way to end a day: Skywalker. 🙂

That look

1 04 2021

Sweet, lovely Piedra wonders where all the snow has gone.

Well, it’s practically spring, lady. Sure, the calendar says so, but ponies are shedding and we’re looking for green. And maybe some more rain.

More rain would be awesome. And that’s no joke! (Happy April Fools’ Day!)

Devil’s in the details

30 03 2021

Do you see it?

You might have to click on the pic to enlarge it.

Would it help to know that *I* didn’t see it until I saw it on the computer screen? What I saw was Hayden shaking his head and then wandering off to graze.

It was T-shirt weather, a day after I didn’t think I could wear enough layers to keep out the biting north wind.

Spring is coming … and with it, the flying buzzers.

The look of far away

19 03 2021

You envision an enticing view stretching away to the far horizon of Utah, don’t you? Or, perhaps, in the other direction, the Glade (where the aspen grow).

I hate to burst your visionary bubbles. 🙂 There was a hill just there, and we couldn’t see Round Top let alone all the way to Utah. But Maiku sure looks handsome, with his cute little pony ears and his winter beard and scruffy roughy coat … and that lip. … That lip! I’m undone by the lip. 🙂