Mountain Update, Burnt Timber. Day One, March 2, 2012

When I headed up the mountain on the morning of March 2, 2012, I did not know who I would see.  I shared with you who I saw at the end of that day (The Gift).  Now I am going to tell you who else I saw that day.

I had not gone far when I saw some horses just around a bend in the road.  They were still when I saw them, but they moved off rather fast, not trotting, but walking fast.  I recognized them right away.  It was Grijala, he was the one that had Lakota’s former band.  It was the same that I had seen in October:  Quelle Colour, Kohl, Knight and Grijala.  But there was one new addition.  It was the young dun filly Kachina from Baja’s band.

Grijala and his band, March, 2012

I wished that they were closer, but I was happy to see some horses.  I think Grijala is keeping a close watch on his band.  This is his first band and I think he may be afraid he may lose them.  He was raised in the Custer Forest, I saw him still there in October 2010.  This would be his first winter on this side of the range.  Even though I was sad that Quelle Colour was no longer with Lakota, I was glad that Grijala has a wise lead mare that can keep the band down low and not lead them up on the mountain top to be caught in a storm.  That is what happened to Cabaret and his band I was hoping it would not happen to another band this winter.

I continued up the mountain.  There was a lot more snow on the road, about 6 inches now and it looked like it could snow.  I was hoping it would hold off for a while and let us see some more horses.  As I came around another bend in the road, there on the right were more horses.  I continued driving a bit farther and we found them closer to the road.  It was Teton’s (Diamond) band.  Everyone was there. (Teton, Warbonnet, Phoenix, Kayenta, Half Moon and New Moon)

I saw this band last summer several times, but they were never this close.  The last time I spent some time with them this close was in the fall of 2010.  At that time Half Moon and New Moon were still with Lakota.  I was happy to finally be able to spend some quality time with this band.

The first horses I saw were Phoenix and New Moon.  Phoenix will be 20 years old this year, but she is still as beautiful as ever.  Little New Moon will be 2.

Phoenix and New Moon, March, 2012

They saw me and turned.

Phoenix, March 2012
Phoenix, March 2012
New Moon (Kiowa), March 2012

New Moon had turned into quite the beautiful filly.  She had grown so much since I first saw her in October of 2010.  She was really interested in me and would come closer to inspect.

New Moon (Kiowa), October, 2010
New Moon, March, 2012

New Moon is one of my favorite 2-year-old fillies on the range.  Aside from the fact that she is beautiful, I think part of the reason is that she is Lakota’s daughter and Starman’s granddaughter (I will tell you about him some time).  She also looks at me as if she knows me.  The same look that my Pryor filly that I adopted gives me.  That beautiful soft eyed stare.  I never get tired of it.  I spent about 2 hours with this band, ate my lunch with them and took A LOT of photos.  I hope you don’t mind if I share several with you!

That soft eyed stare that just makes me melt. New Moon, March 2012.
New Moon, March,2012

I felt a bit guilty eating my lunch, while I watched her search for hers.  She looked healthy though, so I knew she was getting enough to eat.  There is still a big possibility that there could be more snow in the Pryors before the Lupine begin to bloom, but with March comes the promise of spring and I knew that winter had been much easier on these horses than the last one.

New Moon, digging in the snow for food, March 2012.
New Moon, March 2012

The beautiful Half Moon is New Moons mother.  I think Alex and I may be right on this prediction (see “Who Will Have Foals part 1), she looks to be with foal.  That means that there is a great chance that New Moon may be removed.  I hope that is not the case.  I would really like to see her remain on the range.

Half Moon, March 2012

We did have waves of snow come through several times.  The sun came out to warm us a while too.

Half Moon in a snow storm, March 2012

The band stallion is Teton (Diamond).  He seemed a bit lethargic today as I watched him sleep in the sun and snow.  He did move a bit when the young Kayenta came up to bug him.

Teton (Diamond), March 2012
Teton (Diamond), March, 2012
Teton (Diamond), March 2012
Kayenta wakes Teton up. March 2012
Teton, March 2012

Kayenta is another filly that is special to me.  I first met her in October 2010 when she was just a little curious foal.  I found myself having to back up away from her because she wanted to come inspect my camera and me.

Kayenta, October, 2010
Kayenta, March, 2012

Kayenta and New Moon were the only ones moving around.  Everyone else was enjoying a relaxing nap.  Well as relaxing as a nap can be with two soon to be 2-year-old fillies bugging them.

Kayenta rubs her head on her mother Warbonnet, March 2012
Kayenta, March 2012

Kayenta’s mother is Warbonnet.  She is the half-sister of Lakota.  She was behind a bush for quite a while before she decided to let me see her.

Warbonnet, March 2012
Warbonnet and Kayenta, March 2012
Warbonnet and Kayenta, March 2012

It was hard for me to pull myself away from this group.  It was just so nice to share some time with them.  But there looked like there was a storm coming and the wind told me it might be serious.  So I said goodbye and headed back down the mountain.

I was glad I did end up leaving when I did.  That is when Lakota found me ( “The Gift”).  If I had waited any longer he may have been already gone.

It is amazing how things always seem to work out.  I was disappointed that I had not seen any more horses that day, but I was blessed in a special way with the ones that I had seen.

Just a reminder, if you click on any of the photos you can see them much bigger!

Sandy

16 thoughts on “Mountain Update, Burnt Timber. Day One, March 2, 2012

  1. Sandy
    So glad I found your blog. Getting to come up around May 19-23rd, so lucky forward to the chance of seeing some of these wonderful creatures.
    Until then will follow your blogs. I envy you!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to these posts — our trip, also planned for May, might be delayed. And the continuing saga of these horses in the wild is special and definitely intriguing.

    Thanks for all the photos… I also realize how much effort it entails to upload photos and then write. You do a great job!

  3. Wonderful images & story Sand, of course none of us mind if you share more than a few photos with us, we wouldn’t mind seeing the whole 2000 I know you must have taken :). So glad you got to see some of your favorite wild ones for your Birthday.

  4. I’m with everyone else—share as many photos as you have time to do. Love every one! When I look back at my own photos, it’s almost like being there. Looking at those taken by others is the next best thing, and I love reading your impressions of things. I suppose that’s because we think so much alike. I was moved to tears the first time I made real eye contact with one of the horses on the Range on my first visit in 07. It happened to be Merlin and his mate when they checked me out as I kneeled by the guardrail on Bad Pass Highway, taping Bighorns on a rugged hillside. They had come up from behind me and they were as surprised at our encounter as I was. They then had to decide if they were going to take the long route around me down thru a deep gully and up the steep hill on the other side, or cross just the other side of the road. I think he could tell when our gazes met, just how much I loved them and that I was not a danger, because they opted to cross that close to me. I felt so privileged to be in their presence, and that hasn’t changed and I doubt that it ever will. I find Kayenta’s coloring and markings fascinating. She reminds me of Kerry, but with sorrel instead of black. I got some really cool pics of her in Sept. and she was very inquisitive and friendly. THANKS for sharing, as always!

  5. When I first saw the pic of New Moon, where she turned and looked at you, I saw the same look that your Val has, they have the same eyes, same look, same sweetness!? I can see how you would just melt and have the biggest smile on your face as New Moon stood there looking at you and yeah, like she knew you or wants to know you..That has to be a heart tugger knowing you can’t stroke them if they did come rite up to you :D…Phoenix is so pretty and all their winter coats looks so fluffy and soft…thanks for sharing, this is so much fun to see and read..

      1. Oh of course,, that goes without saying, none of them anywhere should be removed. It is sad that we live in a world where all cannot be friends to these horses in caring that they stay wild and on their God given land. 😦

    1. Jeannie, I thought the same thing when I saw these pics of New Moon, that she has that same softness about her expressive eyes that Valerosa has. Have you heard anything, Sandy of any removal plans? Sad, indeed….. for all of them.

  6. Im glad Diamond and his band are ok. Kayenta and New Moon seem to be enjoying each other’s company. Wasnt Starman the lieutenant stallion of the old stallion Flash?

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