Some days I go to the basin and enter this sort of magic bubble. (OK, a lot of days that happens.) Part of the magic is that I KNOW it’s magic as I’m experiencing it. Sometimes, I can come right home and go through photos and post them to share the horses with all of you … sometimes, it’s an experience I just want to keep all to myself.
On the surface, there was nothing particularly special about Sunday. It was sunny, with a light breeze; hardly a cloud in the sky. But the light was enveloping rather than harsh, even in the middle of the day. At one point, I sat on a rock, Grey and Two Boots and Jif peaceful right in front of me, and I just marveled at the bliss of it all. I’m still overwhelmed by it.
What a year this has been, and it’s far from over. Blessed am I to be able to feel that wild magic on a regular basis. How can I possibly bring to the horses what they bring to me? Maybe a little protection … maybe sharing their stories helps. If you can spend time with wild horses, whether in Spring Creek Basin or elsewhere, do it. You will never forget their special magic.
What to call this new family? Copper’s band, which he stole from pinto stallion Bruiser, includes Kiowa, Reya, Spook and Chipeta … and his bachelor pals Corazon, Ty and Mesa. Copper does seem to be still in charge. I hiked in from the road without seeing them and found them where they were a couple of weeks ago. Copper is a little ribby but looks otherwise fine. The mares don’t seem too impressed with him …
Spook, Kiowa and Copper
What a mudball! But just on this side. The only ones NOT covered in mud were Spook and the bachelors, Corazon, Ty and Mesa. Yearling filly Reya was so covered in mud she looked grey.
Can't be bothered
Chipeta, in particular, didn’t hustle to obey her new stallion. Copper was trying to snake her back to the band, to the left, but her attitude here clearly shows her indifference. She stood there, even as he walked right up to her with his nose practically on the ground; she snoozed; she looked at me; she wiggled her ears at him. …
If you insist
Finally she decided to go back to the band. I doubt Copper is a whole lot older than she is.
I didn’t see Bruiser and Cinch; I hope they’re still together. Neither did I see David and Shadow.
Right after I drove in the main entrance to the basin, I found filmmaker James Kleinert and a friend saying their good-byes after a weekend camping trip. James told me Grey/Traveler and his band were out in the open near the water catchment. After most of the day looking for them last Sunday, this past Sunday, they were waiting to welcome me!
They were just at the southeast corner of Filly Peak. Most of the band were just west of the road, but baby Iya was on the other side of the road, rubbing and chewing on one of the uranium claim stakes (you go, girl!). I stopped and walked up to almost the base of the butte, where I found the perfect rock to sit on. There I sat and watched and happily composed photos while they (Grey and Two Boots at first, then Jif) wandered quite close, grazing all the while.
Iya at lunch time
Iya finally abandoned the stake for a snack.
Water was close by (the road and water catchment are down to the left), and they had good grass there.
Scratching post, err, rock
Iya investigated this big boulder and decided it was most perfectly suited for heiny itches.
Big sister Two Boots also investigated this big boulder and decided it was best suited for a game of hide-n-seek.
Beautiful from any angle
You wouldn’t know unless I told you, but this is one shot in a short series where he looks normal; in most of the others, he was chewing, which gave him a pretty funny expression. He looks up so briefly, it’s hard to catch him at it.
I had been sitting with them about 15 to 20 minutes when this truck appeared on the road. Two Boots saw it first and turned around to watch. Grey/Traveler walked down to her, and Houdini, Iya and Twister walked away from the road a short distance toward them (they’re to the right). I was worried they’d bolt away, but the guy drove slowly, and I talked to them, and after the truck passed, they went back to grazing. Jif had come around the boulder toward me while grazing, then looked up at me, then walked down and around Grey and Two Boots where they had turned back toward me, then looked at me again, then went back to grazing. Funny girl. She has filled out and looks pretty good. After another 15 minutes or so, Grey started grazing back down toward Houdini. TwoB and Jif followed him, and when they had gone back past the big boulder, I got up and went back down to the Jeep. Wow.
Luna and Mahogany
Two great broads for wildness.
I found Steeldust’s band around the loop in the east, right off the road, napping in the end-of-day sunlight. Mouse (eternally yearning for Piedra) and his buddies Comanche and Aspen were with the band, but Duke and Hook, Kreacher and Chrome were off on some adventure of their own.
Comanche and Aspen napping near the band.
More sleepy boys
The little dark butt Butch is rubbing on is Pinon’s. He wandered over to take a nap with his big buddies and his daddy.
Don’t let the tough-guy act fool ya. Steely Dan is a sweetheart! I imagine Butch is one of his sons, 2 or 3 years old, and I’ve been waiting to see if he was going to kick him and Sundance out of the band. Maybe with the other bachelor boys hanging around, those two youngsters will enjoy the family a little longer. You can see Kestrel at back left and Ember’s face.
Boys 'n' babies
From left, Steeldust, Mouse in the background, Butch, Sundance, Pinon and Ember (the only girl in the pic!).
Pinon, Storm and Alpha
Here’s Alpha looking after the boys. I keep marveling at how gracious she has been, allowing me such access to her baby. Not only does she graze (with her head down, not always watching me), like she moved off to do right after I took this photo, but she doesn’t seem to worry about keeping Storm right with her. Thank you, my beautiful girl!
Our baby Storm is growing like the proverbial weed!
Queen of the hill
When everybody woke up, they walked down into an arroyo and up the hill on the other side. Sisters Kestrel and Ember liked this little outcropping.
Storm on the ridge
I didn’t even realize I had this photo until I was going through them on the computer. Although it looks like I’m right next to him, I’m down the hill and across the arroyo. Power of the (long) lens.
They wandered up the side of the hill onto the top, and I bid them farewell and went back to check on Grey’s band. James had said he got some fantastic footage of the horses the previous night with the moon coming up behind them. Wow?!! So I thought I’d hang around a little and see if I could get that lucky.
Iya is one curious baby! She likes to check everything out, including the water tank by the water catchment. She walked all the way around it, sniffing and licking the edges and checking out the water.
I don’t think you can see it in this small photo, but she was looking in the direction of the setting sun, and she had a little sparkle in her eye. Does she look serene or what? She may be sporting the world’s longest dreadlock there.
Sometimes you just have to let the magic speak for itself.