Finally I am able to catch up on my thousands of photos that I took this summer while on the mountain. I spend hours going through them, editing and savoring each and every moment that I spent on the mountain. I never forget how lucky I am to be able to spend my summer on the mountain and share the horses with so many people. The mountain is special in many ways, even on the days when the horses don’t choose to show themselves. The healing power of the mountain, both physically and mentally is a gift, one that I will never take for lightly.
Below is just a taste of some of the many photos I took. This post starts with my June 21st trip and ends mid-July.
UPDATE: After reading Lola’s comment below about wishing I had told a few stories with the photos, I decided to add a few to these. Some photos tell there own stories, but some become better by knowing what is going on. So here you go!
Reaching the top of the mountain can be difficult anytime of the year, but this year was particular tough. The only access to the top until July the 3rd was up Burnt Timber Road. While that is my road of choice, it is not for many, which made the mountain even more quiet for the month of June.
We did however get a huge storm involving hail so thick it looked liked two inches of snow. The photo below is of Galaxy and his band just before that storm hit.
While on the mountain on July 9, a helicopter mapping out the fire remediation, startled the horses and those that remembered that sound from 2009 and before, immediately ran for the trees to avoid being rounded-up. While this made for some amazing photos, it made me sad that they would feel such panic with that sound. This is one of those photos.
June and July this year gave us all many opportunities to photograph the horses in the snow. The snow above Mystic pond was so deep and wide. The horses loved to come and stand on a warm day (65 degrees was warm this summer). I think the reflection of the sun warmed them, while the snow kept the temperature comfortable. The flies were not bad yet, so they weren’t there to avoid them.
The “Boys of Summer” (the bachelors) would occasionally just come charging through, for accomplishing nothing more than to stir up the many bands napping on the snow. Grijala especially seemed to enjoy bothering them.
All summer, I have said that Grijala is throughly enjoying life. Best of all worlds. The carefree life of a bachelor, doing whatever, whenever he chooses without the responsiblity of a family. But occasionally sneaking in and breeding a mare in heat that may have stood just a little bit away from her band. I joked that every band on the mountain may end up having a foal with a big “Grijala Star.”
Many have wondered how Broken Bow is doing in her new band, Mescalero’s. She seems to be just fine, enjoying life with them. Perhaps it was time for her to move on and be separated from her daughter Demure. Just like Topper and Topper Too, they each seem to be where they want to be at this time.
Cloud often came by our camp. He came through so much, I nic-named it: “Camp Cloud.”
Chino is another one that is enjoying his life. So wonderful to see him accepting his life without a band. I did see him dog a band or two, just for fun. But mostly he was either on his own or teaching a few young bachelors a thing or two.
Coronado lost his band to Irial during the helicopter appearance. For the first week, he took it very hard. Standing for hours without eating or drinking. I made a point of visiting him while he stood alone with his head down. Eventually he picked himself up and pushed on, joining his one time enemy Santa Fe. I watched them together alot. I do believe they may be planning a take over of the band. But Irial is very tough and vigilant and the mares seem to be settling in and accepting the change.
Galaxy was convinced that the best grass was on this side of the fence around Penn’s Cabin, and he easily either walked or jumped over the falling fence.
The wildflowers this year were more incredible than I ever expected, lasting even into the end of August. There was a big rain storm every single time I was on the mountain for a trip. Meaning about every 3-5 days the mountain received a good drenching.
After a day of horses, my June group did a short but incredible hike to a special place I share with only a few.
Everyone can rest assured, that Jackson is doing just fine. To me he seems to be enjoying the break. He never looks sad, but instead looks content, fatter than I have seen him look for many years. Often he is alone, but sometimes he joins the other bachelors.
While taking a special hike with a good friend, we discovered Jackson along with 3 other bachelors (Grijala, Mandan and Moorcroft) way up on the Skyline Meadow. A meadow seldom used by any of the horses.
Surprisingly, the horses chose to hide in the trees one early July day. Giving us the opportunity to find them in another part of the range. I love days like this, different backgrounds for our photos.
25 thoughts on “Summer On The Mountain, 2014. Part One”
WOW thanks for the wonderful pictures Sandy!!!
WordPress.com wildinthepryors posted: ” Finally I am able to catch up on my thousands of photos that I took this summer while on the mountain. I spend hours going through them, editing and savoring each and every moment that I spent on the mountain. I never forget how lucky I am to be abl”
Thank you so much!
Thanks for sharing your pictures once again. Can’t wait for more pictures. Hopefully we’ll get some stories with those too? 🙂 I always like to hear about band dynamics. While on the mountain, did you get the impression that someone was chasing the horses either on 4-wheeler or mountain bike? I thought I saw that mentioned on a post from another party.
Hi Lola! Thank you so much! Feel free to ask me any questions. I just felt that with so many people on the mountain this time of year, most everything has been reported.
I did see one unfortunate incident that involved a truck rushing towards the horses. It was a bunch of bachelors sparing right in front of your campsite. The person driving the truck stated they were “simply” rushing to get the “shot”. Right, anyone that knows horses knows that rushing towards them at top speed is not going to work very well. But the current rules of the range make it difficult to turn anyone UNLESS you get it on film and it can be proved that it is indeed haressement. So anyone out there that is witness to this action, should make sure they video it with your camera or cell phone.
Oh, please don’t assume everything has been reported by someone else (not without posting a link to it!) I only follow your blog, and one other which doesn’t seem to have posted much, so I don’t have this info. I saw all these O foals and had no idea about them. I know you’re busy, especially in summer, but I love reading about these horses on the other side of the world to me and looking at the gorgeous photos you take of them. I’ll never see them in person, your blog is my only glimpse into their world. Thanks for sharing them 🙂
Thank you. I will be sure to not assume anything. I really appreciate your kind words!
Going in now to edit with a few stories Lola! Good idea! 😉
I’ll take any tidbits I can get. lol! Can’t wait for a few little stories.
Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful experiences, Sandy. Pictures and stories sustain me from year to year, and altho I have tons of my own pictures, and lots of memories as well, I absolutely love hearing about others’ experiences, too. I could visit the Range every day and it wouldn’t be too much. 🙂 Thanks again for sharing.
Thank you Linda! You are welcome! I have been enjoying your photos too!
I dont have time for my usual novel of a comment at the moment, but out of curiosity what mares did Grijala end up breeding this summer? Grijala babies actually born on the range would be nice 🙂
Sandy, this is an awesome photo sketch of the summer. Baja is one of my favorite band stallions, great photo of him with his beautiful two-tone mane blowing in the wind. And I love that head shot of Gringo!! Thanks for the photo of me with Cloud. You can tell by my expression that I am overflowing with happiness to be on the mountain sharing a day with the incredible horses!! Thank you for a perfect trip to the top of the mountain!!
Thank you Laura! I really enjoyed our day too!
Just stunning 🙂 These are some of the best I’ve seen all summer 🙂 These images show the tranquility to be found on the mountain.
What made Rosarita rear up like that with Missoula? I had to do a double take because I had never seen a mare rear up. Grijala has been a naughty boy this year 🙂 The new young band stallions are stunning! Especially Jupiter 🙂 London looks like he’s getting tall, or is it just the angle? (on your FB cover)
Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you Clarissa! London may have been a bit up hill in that shot, but he is getting pretty big. I had to do a double take when I first saw him in June. Missoula needs someone to play with! I saw him several times playing with Rosarita. She seemed to just be keeping him from pestering her, but she was pretty kind in the way she handled that.
Thank you for these wonderful pictures and stories. It is great to see how Jackson is doing, he is one of my favorites. i will probably never be able to see these horses in person so your pictures and stories bring them to life for me
Stunning! You have a way of capturing their true essence- not easily done! Thanks for sharing!!!
Love the snow action shots. 🙂
Thank you Amelie!!
I love the picture of Blanca running through the flowers mid lead change, but like you I don’t like the reason behind it. Haha it seems like Grijala has taken a page out of Blizzard’s old book! I’m glad Chino is doing well too. And Jackson. It’s always good to hear the older boys are doing well too. I love the picture of Cloud in the trees. I feel for Red Raven/ Coronado. Were you there when he got that lip wound? Does it seem to be affecting his ability to graze? I’ve been wanting to tell RR and Santa Fe to team up and work together! I don’t think they would be able to take the whole band back, like you said, Irial is strong and he’s smart. But I do think they could come away with a mare or probably two. One of those definitely being Blue Sioux. I would be so thrilled to see Santa Fe come away with M’lita. I’d like to see her end up somewhere besides with Irial. There’s just too much relation between Dove, RR, and Irial. Irial looks like he’s sporting a few more scars from the back and forth battling with RR. It seems like he was feeling a little grumpy with Chino, Mica, and Santa Fe even before he took the band back over. The picture of Blue Sioux and Adona made me smile 🙂 They are usually matching as blue roans, and apparently they decided they should be matching with the mud too. That head shot of Gringo is really nice. There’s so many pictures that I love that I can’t even name specifics! There’s too many! I’m very happy that Jupiter has held on to Demure all summer! Yay! I have to admit I’m a little surprised that Broken Bow didn’t try to join her. But I’m happy that they both seem to be happy. Pheonix is literally glowing in that picture of Hernando’s band walking side by side. Haha I would have loved to see Galaxy jumping over the fence! That would have been great if you had been able to get a picture! London is looking so good. He’s maturing so much. And I’ve really noticed this summer that his mane is starting to get all wavy just like Doc’s! Speaking of Doc, I love the pics of him chasing Moorcroft with the snow flying. Was Moorcroft trying to come “home” for a visit or was he just trying to reak havoc haha?
Thank you Sarah. I did not see the actual injury happen to Coronado, but I did see it shortly after. He was really depressed for a couple days after the take over of his band. I don’t think the wound kept him from eating, but his heart certainly did. I only saw two big attempts to take his band back while I was there in the following weeks. One was by himself and one was with Santa Fe. Neither worked. But time will tell!!
Moorcroft was just “one of the boys” trying to stir up trouble. I think he likes his life as a bachelor. While he is a bit shy, he has a great teacher. I saw him spend a lot of time with Jasper this summer. Jasper has become a big tough stallion. I look for him to take a mare or two next year. He will be an incredible band stallion, just like his father Jackson. I am sure of it.
Beautiful Sandy!!! Thanks so much!!! Your pictures are outstanding, for sure!
Thank you so much Ruby!!
I’ve just read your words and see the horse’s pictures.
Always I’m happy to see them and I hope they are all with a good health.
Have all a nice day 😀
Thank you so much!