The night was pretty quiet. I only heard a few horses off in the distance just before I got up. The mornings were darker now, just like the evenings. The air had the feeling of fall. This summer had passed too quickly.
With no horses in sight, we hiked beyond the pond, heading towards the north woods. I stopped and glassed towards the trees. I could see several bands over there. I hoped that perhaps this would be the morning we would see Washakie with her new foal.
Tecumseh was still dogging Gringo, but I noticed that Tecumseh’s wounds had healed and he had put on some well needed weight. They must have worked out some type of deal. It was peaceful.
But the other thing I noticed this morning was the tension between Coronado and Santa Fe. It seemed to be accelerating. Santa Fe has been dogging Coronado’s band since early this summer.
At one point this morning, Coronado suddenly started chasing Santa Fe (for no apparent reason that I could see) and we had to grab our cameras and jump for cover, as Santa Fe decided to head straight towards us. Of course I missed getting those shots.
Neither stallion had any open wounds, but Santa Fe looked so thin. I found myself feeling sorry and worried for him.
I noticed that Doc was looking off in the distance with ears up. That usually means they see something, so I followed his gaze, and spotted Cappuccino and band down in the shadows of some trees down the hill. I looked through the binoculars and was happy to see McKeahnie back with the band. Shawn had reported that he was missing from the band and off by himself. I thought at the time it would be a temporary thing, but still found myself very relieved to see him standing there.
McKeahnie is a very bold and self assured colt for a yearling. I watched him help Cappuccino snake Demure into their band back in April. He has his fathers power and looks. I look forward to watching him grow up and become a bachelor and then a band stallion. I have no doubt he will be a very powerful stallion.
After our near miss, I decided we should move on and take a look at the other horses just a short distance away.
Duke, Baja and Garay were just over behind some other trees. I could see that there was not a new foal with Washakie.
We selected a safer place to sit and watched these bands enjoy the morning coolness. No flies were bothering them now and they were able to relax in the sun.
I found myself putting down my camera and just watching the peacefulness. We were still the only other humans on top of the mountain.
Over an hour later, we decided to leave them to their morning and hiked back to our camp. Still no other horses in sight.
I was pretty sure, but wanted to confirm, that Mystic Pond was dried up. So after a short break we headed down to make sure. It was just a small mud puddle now.
I then reluctantly agreed: after lunch we were going to go sit by the pond and wait for horses. I stated in my pervious post how much I disliked doing that. But after our very long hike the day before and the short one this morning, I was out numbered in the decision department.
So we sat and waited…by the pond…
I watched as Cloud, Inocentes and Aztec headed down to the water, leaving Feldspar, Mica and Nimbus up on the hill. Jackson’s band was in-between.
Finally with the “help” of Moorcroft and Nye, Feldspar, Mica and Nimbus headed down to the water.
I have to admit, I enjoyed seeing the horses down by the water. It was the waiting that I disliked. I am more of a hike-and-find- horses-person, rather than a sit-and-wait-for-horses-person.
I found myself taking photos of whatever came to the pond.
Finally after about an hour, we were rewarded with some horses making their way through the trees towards the pond. Umm, this was interesting. It was some bachelor boys with a dun stallion. It took me a minute to realize that the dun stallion was Cappuccino. He was with Jasper, Jupiter, Hamlet and Grijala!
It certainly was not all peaceful. There was a lot of sparring and screaming going on. They left as quickly as they came.
We kept hearing the stallion screams off and on, but for the most part, there was nothing and no one coming to the pond. I turned my focus on some butterflies in the near-by flowers and a Clarks Nutcracker that came to drink.
I then heard more screams and thundering of hoofs. Looking up we saw Cloud, Cappuccino, Jasper and Jupiter chasing Santa Fe down towards the pond. It had been a couple hours since I had seen Cappuccino with the other bachelors. Had he lost his band? What was Cloud doing here with them? Had he lost his band?
They also left as quickly as they had come.
We stayed watching for several more hours. Watching band after band make there way down the hill to drink.
We continued to hear stallion screams in the background. I wondered what was happening.
It got quiet again. We decided that after 5 1/2 hours of sitting by the pond, it was time to head back to camp for a while. Our plan was to come and share another sunset with the horses later.
It was another beautiful sunset. Some of these shots are a bit blurry, with the quality of light. But I thought I would include them for you to see anyway.
I still wondered about Cappuccino and Cloud. Were they back with their bands? Just as it was about to be dark, I saw Cloud and his band come up from the pond.
That answered one question, but I still had another unanswered. How was Cappuccino and his band doing? It would have to wait until tomorrow.