The title says it all. Although I was certain and sure of seeing new faces this weekend, the girls have other ideas. As far as I know – and I’ll explain that later – Ze and Hannah are our only babies.
I haven’t taken many pictures during the last two weekends (which may shock you), but I’ve been more on lookout patrol and giving expectant mamas their space. Alegre, Piedra and Houdini are closest, Jif and Raven are unknowns, and Mahogany is due in May. Ze and Hannah are growing like wild weeds. Strong Ze loves to run, and dainty Hannah is brave, not easily intimidated by the chaos of her extended family.
Last weekend, after I found dear Bones, I was able to spend some time with that big family, a salve for my heart. Like Alpha last year, Luna has been so generous sharing her treasure. She was in foaling heat then and … Butch was after her? So much for my theory that he and Sundance are her sons. He even mounted her … but he didn’t breed her. How’s that for weird? Are you – like me – used to questions without answers?
Duke was wandering again, and Chrome and Hook were wandering together. This weekend, Duke – and Chrome and Hook – had re-joined the big band; the next morning, Duke was gone again. At the end of the day, he was waaaaay across the basin, having found a big sea of green in the north hills that he had all to himself.
Seven has decided to show off his strapping boy to the world, and they were easily visible last weekend. They had retreated a bit by this weekend, but who can blame them? One of the biggest “stories” of the weekend was the flow of human admirers (and, unfortunately, a very few who fell in the “not so much” category) in the basin.
Poco and Roach did appear one morning close to the road, but reports have them continuing to hold vigil with Bones and her baby. Do horses grieve? I believe they do – and are.
Grey/Traveler kept a low profile last weekend, but he was more visible this weekend. He and his band have discovered the water tanks at the catchment again and are drinking there regularly.
Bounce and his girls have retreated to the east pocket exclusively. The pond back there still has good water. In fact, Steeldust’s band was back in that area by Lizard Mesa, but then they wandered back to “the front country” for easy visibility. The drawback of that comes from people who aren’t considerate of the horses and their imminent foaling dates because they’re racing around on their ATVs. Steeldust’s band had the unfortunate timing of being right on the road when the folks on ATV came racing up on them, causing them to run for the hills.
And with that, let me introduce some honored guests in the basin this weekend. Lynn and Kathy from New Mexico have been following the blog since the beginning and have created an AMAZING map that tracks all the bands by color-coded stickers! I’m so incredibly humbled by their attention to the horses. THEY witnessed the ATVs running the horses off, and THEY were able to talk to the people and tell them the importance of being careful around the horses, especially during this sensitive time. You go, girls!
We spent a whole day together so they could see horses and landmarks and learn TJ-speak, which I learned includes a lot of “ishes.” As in “northish,” towardish,” etc. It was so wonderful to share the horses with people who clearly cherish them and are so full of enthusiasm! We laughed a lot and smiled constantly – except when it came to Bones, and even that wasn’t so bad as shared sorrow. What an absolute treat to meet you both, my new friends! I hope this meeting is just the first of many.
During the past two weekends, I’ve also seen the southern horses: the pintos, David and Shadow, and Cinch and Bruiser – all but the pintos as recently as today. So. Who didn’t I see? I saved the mystery for last. Kreacher and the girls eluded me all last weekend, but I saw Kreacher, Mona and Kootenai the first day this weekend. They were way out on the hill above the corrals, and figuring for distance, trees and the hill, I figured Raven was just out of sight. But that theory was blown today, when I saw Kreacher, Mona and Kootenai walk down to the roller coaster pond – minus the black-and-white girl. Uh oh.
Getting to the heart of the matter, they headed to the saddle between Flat Top and Round Top, where they met David and Shadow. How are you for conspiracy theories? By the time I high-tailed it over there, the saddle was clear of equines, David and his girl were down below and headed toward the (dry) pond, and there was not a single sign of Kreacher and the duns. Did I mention that the first time I saw them, on the corral hill, I drove out there and hiked up, along, down and up across the valley … and never found a sign but hoof prints? These horses have never been hard to find, so what’s up? AND WHERE IS OUR GIRL RAVEN?
Before you theorize that she took up with another stallion, remember that I saw them all. Didn’t see the Duke today, though; mayhap she returned to familiar north hills and found herself a new beau. Or perhaps – and most hopefully – she required a bit of alone time during which to bring forth a little bundle of four-legged, equine joy. Cross yer fingers.
The wind was furious yesterday; the dust was ubiquitous (what a word). Today … When I went looking for Kreacher and the girls, the wind was a solid thing, threatening to tumble me off the ridge. Think an unliving thing (surely can’t call it inanimate!) can’t be “furious”? It was spewing rocks at me! What’d I ever do to the wind?!
The earth never filled the sky yesterday as it has in the past – and I don’t have the foggiest idea why. It was blowing hard enough. It just waited till today – when it also decided to try to rain. Fickle, rocky Mother Nature. I think she got rid of all of us who don’t call the basin home.
And there’s your news ‘o the basin, trimmed down to near-nutshell length. I’ll have a sampling of photos to come.