It felt like a betrayal to even lift my camera to take pictures after what happened to Twister … though, when I saw the BLM truck leave the basin, I felt unmistakable relief. Like when I drive by Bones Valley, I think of Bones and her foal … I’ll probably always now think of that hill above Wildcat Spring as Twister’s Hill. This is what attachment and memories and love do to us, I suspect. Life.
It wasn’t until I walked out to Iya’s band later in the day, though, that the guilt of continuing seemed OK, better than OK … what I still need to do. I’ll have those pix in a separate post.
Bounce with his kids: 2-year-old son Whisper and baby daughter Aurora. Whisper had just risen from rolling – and Bounce was rolling earlier – you can see the ground right under them. Is it just me or does young Whisper look bigger than his daddy? He gets that from his mama. Aurora and Whisper are very close, despite their ages, and I suspect Whisper gets that from his big sister, Gaia. A few weeks ago, I found Alegre, seemingly alone. She looked up from her grazing, regarded me for a moment as I sat in the Jeep, then returned to grazing. Bounce appeared to see what was up, and a few moments later, Whisper came trotting out of the trees, Aurora stuck to his side like glue. I wonder how many older siblings are mistaken by observers for mothers in those kinds of situations.
Zoomed out to show him on the bank of a pond that recently went from dry to water (it was dug out last year).
Mama Alegre had already left the pond and was grazing among the greasewood when ‘Rora found her for her own mid-morning snack.
Those were all taken from the Jeep.
Back around under the north hills, I found Seven’s and Spook and Bruiser where they had been the day before. They like this area because of the proximity of water (Wildcat Spring) and the grazing and the trees to seek when the gnats are just too much. I parked the Jeep almost exactly where I had the day before with Grey/Traveler’s band and just watched them for a while. Seven’s band were immediately off the road, and Spook and Bruiser eventually crossed the road.
Roja, Killian, Shane and Mona
Seven, Mona and Killian. They drifted farther from the road when Spook and Bruiser crossed, and I took this as I drove by. Roja grazing while I’m near represents a major leap in her behavior. Seven still watches for quite a while before he goes back to grazing.
Spook, one of only three true black-and-white pintos in the basin (Raven, from Sand Wash Basin, and Corazon are the others).
Spook and Bruiser. Seven’s are actually closer to me – they’re what Bruiser’s looking at.
Iya’s turned up deeper in the valley, on the north side of the arroyo that runs along the base of the north side of the east-west hill – basically down left-ish of Spook and Bruiser. Quite a distance from their normal territory. Unlike most of the horses, Poco and Roach have mostly stuck to a particular location in the basin, though they occasionally go wandering. And it may be Iya’s influence that has them wandering here, though both double ponds had water (both had gone dry; one was dug out in 2009).
Twister is up, way up, to the right … a guardian now, joining the others that have gone before.