Almost every weekend in the basin this year, I thought I had it covered: the June gnats, the July cheat grass, the September nasty-prickles (I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s everywhere). But there’s something else to September that I learned last year, after a day and night in the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area (outside Cody, Wyo.): I am apparently allergic/uber-sensitive to September sage. Zowie. It hit me like a bull.
Grey/Traveler and his band were way up on the north fenceline/ridgeline in the morning. There’s water in the pond down near last August’s gather site, so they might be getting water there. It makes me happy to see the boy back on home ground.
I had seen Steeldust’s band to the east on a saddle north of Lizard Mesa the night before, so I reasoned they might be in the same area. I wondered if Duke, Hook, Chrome and Kreacher were back with them or still off on their own adventures. Also haven’t seen Poco, Bones and Roach for a while, and it’s been a couple of trips since I’ve seen Bounce’s or Seven’s bands. Cutting to the chase, I still didn’t see Roach’s, Seven’s or Bounce’s bands, but the four wayward boys are still off on their excellent adventures (way up in the north hills), and everybody else in Steeldust’s band looks fabulous. Mouse, Comanche and Aspen are still with the band, but they must be going crazy – or be completely resigned. Hollywood, meanwhile, seems to have added to his harem; Baylee is still hanging out close to Piedra and, coincidentally, Holls. Consider this theory: Piedra may be Mahogany’s daughter (it’s all in the ears), and if so, she’s Baylee’s big sister.
The rest of the band – and the three bachelors – were over to the right. A situation that bears watching.
Bachelor boys, playing calm and detached. Comanche, left, Mouse and Aspen.
Name those boys … Butch, left, and Sundance, right. (Pinon playing peek-a-boo!)
These boys just make me smile every time I think about them. Even Ember was getting into the act of playing with them the other day. She’s usually the “grown-up” one! Good thing both Mahogany and Alpha are seasoned mamas. These two characters are bound to keep them busy.
Speaking of Ember, there’s the girl, looking remarkably innocent after provoking Daddy Steeldust into nipping at her (!). She’s holding her dark red color, but you can see (maybe not in this small image) the greying all around the edges of her ice-cream-cone star and strip.
Left to right, little to big: Storm, Pinon and Baylee.
A rumble of thunder hustled me out of the basin, but I don’t know if the ponies actually got rain. Hope so; it’s dry out there.
On my way south on the county road, I stopped to scan the big open area south of the county line, and voila! There were the spotted girls with their beaus on the far hill, on the bench that runs around the west side. Mama Kiowa and yearling filly Reya were so clean I barely recognized them! I hope that means they’ve had a “shower,” but I hope it doesn’t mean their mud spa has dried up. Didn’t see David and Shadow or Cinch and Bruiser again.