Back in the “meadow” of the east pocket, I was concentrating on Mona and her new baby – with Seven’s! – but after a very short while, we all became aware of other visitors when Hollywood’s band burst out of the trees and over a ridge, heading straight for us. They stopped momentarily – surprised, I think – when they saw Seven’s (and they must know the makeup of families as well (better!) as I do, so I wonder what they made of the new additions) – then me – then they started off again – straight toward me!
You know that strange phenomenon … you’ve found the perfect campsite in a not-too-crowded campground, away from the other people – and a late arrival sets up right next to you. Or you’re alone on a bus, and the next fare chooses a seat – out of all the empty seats! – right next to yours. Hollywood and his family could have gone in any direction – away from Seven’s – and away from me, too, and yet here they came. That’s not the first time it’s happened, and I imagine (hope?!) it won’t be the last. Fear – the prey species drive – fuels these beautiful animals, has kept them alive – and thriving! – for centuries, and yet, they have this amazing curiosity that also directs them, allows them to know how close they can get to satisfy that curiosity … how far they must stay to appease that fear.
Here they come – Hollywood in the lead followed by alpha mare Piedra and baby Tenaz.
So graceful … I just love Piedra.
Coming to that edge … Piedra and Tenaz, Hollywood now waiting for everyone to catch up, Baylee at left.
Now some watch Seven’s – Sage, right, and Baylee – and some watch me! Iya at left. Holls has gone out a little to man the line between his family and Seven’s, who didn’t move a step away from his new girl.
Wider view to include Holls – and that amazing backdrop of what I call the east pocket! Those hills and ridges make up part of the natural eastern boundary of Spring Creek Basin.
Baylee, 3, and Iya, 2, are best of friends. They tend to stick fairly close to each other.
Mama Piedra, daddy Hollywood and their sons, Tenaz and Sage.
Piedra and her boys
Now she’s made her decision – nothing to fear, and she’s satisfied her curiosity – and is getting down to the important business of grazing.
Hollywood. So far, none of our duns have thrown their color. Only Luna – in the time I’ve been documenting the mustangs – has thrown her color, in 3-year-old Kestrel – and she reproduced it in her very first foal, Winona. Both foals this year with dun parents are bay.
Hollywood with his boys, Tenaz and Sage
Full-brothers Tenaz, 5 months, and Sage, yearling
Now for the *more* …
Look who decided to join the party. Roja, masking her curiosity by nibbling on a saltbush.
And who is this darling girl we rarely get to see? That’s Spring, looking like a mini version of (I’m pretty sure) grandma Molly.
Spring has left mama to come see the baby … here she is with daddy Seven, lost in the bliss of saltbush nibbling.
Daddy with two of his babies (he also had a bay filly that was rounded up in 2007. She was named Hershey for her darker splotch; I believe she was adopted).
Handsome Seven – with son Ze – looking for Roja. Isn’t he incredible? Great genes!
Mama Mona and baby Shane showing off their similar face markings.
She is a doting mama …
… and fierce as a grizzly when provoked! And that curious-Ze just didn’t seem to get the message! This was a “bluff charge”; she never left Shane’s side. But I was happy to see this side of lovely, gentle, sweet, laidback Mona!
I do love the mamas and babies – are they beautiful or what?!