He got it

11 10 2018

Killian, Aspen's band

Killian saunters across a flat to drink from a rain puddle while another band lingers in the background. He knows he’s all that. 🙂


The light of the rain

10 10 2018

Disappointment Road double rainbow

Double rainbow over Spring Creek Basin from Disappointment Valley Road, looking southeast.

Disappointment Road double rainbow

Rainbow over Seven’s swale in Spring Creek Basin.

Disappointment Road double rainbow

The other end of the above rainbow. … It was INTENSE.

Sunset light on Temple Butte.

Temple Butte and McKenna Peak in the very last light of the post-storm day.

Glorious. 🙂


9 10 2018


The colors and the day pictured above with Reya were warm. Lately, the days have been cooler. And wetter. 🙂 And we’re kinda super happy about that.

Blessed are those who wait for rain

8 10 2018


We’re not the most patient lot … but we just might be the most grateful. 🙂

Colorado Highway 141, across the top of the screen, runs across the broad, lower, northern end of Disappointment Valley. Southeast of the rightmost 141 marker and south of the open space in the green blob that is life-giving rain is Spring Creek Basin. The rain has fallen fairly steadily with small breaks since Saturday mid-afternoon.

The world as we know it is SOGGY. And it’s FABULOUS.


7 10 2018

Killian and Seneca

Dapply greys Killian and Seneca under dapply shade.

Not much shade yesterday. Not much need. Cloudy skies have brought a little more dripply dribbles to our little corner of paradise. 🙂

Tribute to Mariah

6 10 2018

This post is specially for my friend Roy Garner, who grew up with his family in Disappointment Valley. He still visits a couple of times a year, to see the area and the mustangs. Roy is in his very fit 80s, and until recently, he was still trimming and shoeing horses. Love you, Roy!


Thursday in Durango, Colorado, Dave Stamey was the headline performer for the opening night of the Cowboy Poetry Gathering, now in its 30th year (!).

Regular readers of this blog will know that every now and then, I quote Dave Stamey lyrics to go along with some photo of Spring Creek Basin and/or its mustangs.

Dave Stamey simply is the best cowboy singer/songwriter in the Western universe. That ain’t opinion, folks; that’s pure, simple fact. 🙂 (The mustangs know it, too. I like to sing (poorly, I’m afraid, though they’ve never complained) Dave Stamey songs to them while sitting in the sunshine and breeze while they graze and nap, especially my favorite songs, “Sunrise” and “The Circle.”)

Thursday night, one of the first songs he performed was a “classic,” meaning, in part, that he hadn’t written it (he writes true-to-hard-gritty-dirty-(and-sometimes-romantic-and-sometimes-hilarious)-life cowboy songs as only someone who lives the life can write).

This is where the tribute to Mariah – and my friend Roy – comes in.

He sang “They Call the Wind Maria,”* which is the song behind Roy’s naming of Mariah when she was a bitty babe, seen first by Roy during one of his spring visits to Spring Creek Basin.

Later, between shows (friend and fellow advocate Kat Wilder paid for my tickets as my birthday present – thank you, Kat!), we talked to Dave, and I thanked him for singing “They Call the Wind Mariah,” telling him that we have a mustang named Mariah … named for that very song.

“They Call the Wind Maria”

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria

Way out here they got a name
For rain and wind and fire
The rain is Tess, the fire’s Joe
And they call the wind Maria

Maria blows the stars around
And sends the clouds a-flyin’
Miriam makes the mountain sound
Like folks were up there dyin’

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria

Before I knew Maria’s name
And heard her wail and whinin’
I had a gal and she had me
And the sun was always shinin’

Then one day I left my girl
I left her far behind me
And now I’m lost so cold and lost
Not even God can find me

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria

Out here they got a name
For rain, for wind and fire only
But when you’re lost and all alone
There ain’t no word but lonely

And I’m a lost and lonely man
Without a star to guide me
Miriam, blow my love to me
I need my girl beside me

Maria, Maria
They call the wind Maria
Maria, Maria
Love, my love, pull me

~ Lyrics by Alan Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe


Here, Dave Stamey sings/performs “They Call the Wind Maria” at the historic Henry Strater Theatre at the Strater Hotel on the opening night of the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Durango, Colorado.

If you appreciate the Western way of life exemplified by rich singing, perfect lyrics and masterful guitar playing, check out Dave Stamey. You won’t be disappointed.

*Note on pronunciation, from the above Wikipedia link: “In George Rippey Stewart’s 1941 novel Storm, he names the storm that is the protagonist of his story Maria.[19] In 1947, Stewart wrote a new introduction for a reprint of the book, and discussed the pronunciation of “Maria”: “The soft Spanish pronunciation is fine for some heroines, but our Maria here is too big for any man to embrace and much too boisterous.” He went on to say, “So put the accent on the second syllable, and pronounce it ‘rye’.”

Black beauty bomber

5 10 2018

Aurora photobombs Piedra and Terra.

Aurora had been grazing close to where I was sitting, and I was watching Piedra and Terra, who were watching me (do they wonder why I sit there, basking in the gentle autumn sunshine and don’t graze along?). Then, rather than waste energy walking around me in her search for the tastiest tidbits, Aurora just walked on by.

I love that the sunlight caught her eye, even in that split second. 🙂