Summer On The Mountain, 2014. Part One

A view of Mystic in early July, 2014
A view of Mystic in early July, 2014

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!

Sandy

Baja
Baja

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.

Galaxy's before the storm
Galaxy’s before the storm

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.

Blanca
Blanca
Bolder
Bolder

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.”

Bolder, Grjiala and Mandan
Bolder, Grjiala and Mandan
Broken Bow
Broken Bow

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.

Camp Cloud
Camp Cloud

Cloud often came by our camp.   He came through so much, I nic-named it:  “Camp Cloud.”

Chino and Jasper
Chino and Jasper

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.

Chino
Chino
Cloud
Cloud
Clouds
Clouds
Cloud
Cloud
Coronado's band, just days before losing it to Irial.
Coronado’s band, just days before losing it to Irial.

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.

Wound lip on Coronado
Wound lip on Coronado
Coronado shortly after losing his band
Coronado shortly after losing his band
Custer
Custer
Custers
Custers
Watching the horses in early July.  That is snow above Mystic Pond.
Watching the horses in early July. That is snow above Mystic Pond.
Demure
Demure
Doc chasing Moorcroft
Doc chasing Moorcroft
Doc and Moorcroft
Doc and Moorcroft
Odakota, Naolin and Outlawlass
Odakota, Naolin and Outlawlass
Naolin
Naolin
Feldspar and Ohanzee
Feldspar and Ohanzee
Winnemucca and Fiasco
Winnemucca and Fiasco
Baja and Dukes running from the helicopter
Baja and Dukes running from the helicopter

Wild in the Pryors

Lupine
Lupine
Galaxy's
Galaxy’s
Galaxy's
Galaxy’s
Galaxy
Galaxy

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.

Galaxy
Galaxy
Garay's
Garay’s

Wild in the Pryors

Grijala and Doc
Grijala and Doc

Wild in the Pryors

Garay's, Mid-July.
Garay’s, Mid-July.

Wild in the Pryors

 

Gringo and Ketchikan
Gringo and Ketchikan

Wild in the Pryors

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.

Gringo
Gringo
Gringo's
Gringo’s
Gringos
Gringos
Halcyon and Olivia
Halcyon and Olivia
Halcyon and Sequoyah
Halcyon and Sequoyah
Hernandos
Hernandos
Hernandos
Hernandos
Hiking
Hiking

After a day of horses, my June group did a short but incredible hike to a special place I share with only a few.

Wild in the Pryors

Inali and Knight
Inali and Knight
Inali
Inali
Innocentes and Ohanzee
Innocentes and Ohanzee
Irial and Chino
Irial and Chino
Irial, Chino and Mica
Irial, Chino and Mica
Irial chases Santa Fe
Irial chases Santa Fe
Irial just days before he took the band.
Irial just days before he took Coronado’s band.
Watching above Mystic
Watching above Mystic
Jackson
Jackson

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.

Jeanne and Sandy M. watching the horses above Mystic.
Jeanne and Sandy M. watching the horses above Mystic.

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Jupiter
Jupiter
Knight and Inali
Knight and Inali
Knight
Knight
Jupiter
Jupiter
Laura and Cloud
Laura and Cloud

Wild in the Pryors

London
London
Maia nursing Hera
Maia nursing Hera
Manuelita
Manuelita

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Meg at Mystic
Meg at Mystic

Wild in the Pryors

Hiking to the horses
Hiking to the horses
Meg with a rainbow.
Meg with a rainbow.

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.

Wild in the Pryors

Maia
Mesa
Morning Stars
Morning Stars
Naolin, Noble and Outlawlass
Naolin, Noble and Outlawlass
Nawah and Washakie
Nawah and Washakie
Nickel and Fools Gold
Nickel and Fools Gold
Noble
Noble
Blue Souix and Adona
Blue Souix and Adona
Odakota and Graciana
Odakota and Graciana
Horizon's
Horizon’s
Odessey
Odessey

Wild in the Pryors

Ohazee
Ohazee
Halcyon and Olivia
Halcyon and Olivia
Outlawlass
Outlawlass
Ohanzee
Ohanzee
Penns Cabin
Penns Cabin
Phoenix
Phoenix

Wild in the Pryors

Rosarita and Missoula
Rosarita and Missoula
Sandy M. watching above Mystic
Sandy M. watching above Mystic
Santa Fe and Inali
Santa Fe and Inali

Wild in the Pryors

Sapo and Killian
Sapo and Killian
Sequoyah and Nirvana
Sequoyah and Nirvana
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Early July
Early July
Horses on the snow field below the fence.  Early July.
Horses on the snow field below the fence. Early July.

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Tecumseh
Tecumseh
Mid-July
Mid-July
Warbonnet
Warbonnet
Winnemucca
Winnemucca
Nimbus, Knight, Inali and London.  Also known fondly as the Fleetwood Mac Band.
Nimbus, Knight, Inali and London. Also known fondly as the Fleetwood Mac Band.
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell.  Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell. Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.

The Horses

Late summer flowers.  August 22, 2014
Late summer flowers. August 22, 2014

 

I always hope that with each post I can be inspired by something.  Something that will make you all want to read and feel how I feel.  I always hope I can continue to do that.

As always, my summer with the horses as been well beyond my human expectations.  Each and every day I spent with them was truly a blessing that I hold to my heart.  For the most part each and every guest has become a very close friend, or a soul mate of sort, someone that was there and re-discovered or someone I just met, bonded by not only the horses, but the mountain.  I feel very blessed. And for those few that did not “get it”  I wish you well and hope you have peace in your life like those of us who did find it on the mountain this summer.

Clouds
Clouds

I had planned to do an early September trip, but because of the death in early July  of a very close person in my life, I have decided to forgo that trip and instead return to my native state of Michigan, sharing the memory of him with some close friends.  I know the horses will understand.  It is something I need to do.

Life is short.  I know we have all heard that term before, but this summer, perhaps, it has effected me even more than ever.  I have spent my summer with some of the most wonderful people I have thought I could never know.  Some will be with me as best friends for the rest of my life, and I cherish that thought.  I am also looking forward to the new ones I am yet to discover.

Broken Bow and Half Moon, August 2014
Broken Bow and Half Moon, August 2014

Each of us never know how much time we have on this journey of life we call home.  We need to make the most of each moment, feel it, and be happy with our decisions.

There have been many people on the mountain this year, but few remain to camp with the horses.  For whatever that reason, I hope it continues that way.  I would like to think that the horses choose who they want on their mountain.  Please let it always be that way.

Gringo and Beulah
Gringo and Beulah

I leave you with a few photos from my last few trips, and know that I will be back soon and yes, I will share with you.  Isn’t that what life is all about?  Sharing and giving.  I try to remind myself of that everyday.

And even when I am not on the mountain,  I still am.  Thanks Meg, for capturing that thought.

Custers
Custers
Dukes
Dukes
Bolders
Bolders in the fog
Meg
Meg, one of the most incredible people I hope to know.
Olivia and Ohanzee
Olivia and Ohanzee
O and O
O and O
Sequoaya
Sequoyah
Miociene
Miociene
Meg
Meg
Nirvana
Nirvana
Maia and Odessey
Maia and Odessey (sorry just had to name him something more fitting)  First time I have ever done this!!
Fog
Fog
O and O
O and O
Ketchikan
Ketchikan
Tecumseh
Tecumseh
Galaxys and Garcias
Galaxys and Garcias
Ridge run
Ridge run
Me
Me
Fence
Fence  A view that I took while sitting on this fence.
Jeanne
Jeanne, another person that I feel very gifted to know.  Thank you for this summer.
Me
Me.  Thank for this shot Meg,  Even when I am not there, I am there…. Always will be.
Irial
Irial
One of many sunsets that touched my soul
One of many sunsets that touched my soul
Bolder
Bolder
Kohl.  She followed me around on this day.  Did Lakota tell her too?  I would like to think that.  August 23, 2014
Kohl. She followed me around on this day. Lakota’s last offspring.  Did Lakota tell her to? I would like to think that. August 23, 2014
Cedric and his beautiful family.
Cedric and his beautiful family.
The Cloud selfie!
The Cloud selfie!
The beauty of the clouds
The beauty of the clouds
Innocentes
Innocentes
Kohl
Kohl
Miocene and Nirnana
Miocene and Nirvana
The perfect neck: Nickle
The perfect neck: Nickle
They got it
They got it
Dukes
Dukes
Yoga at 9,000 feet!!
Yoga at 9,000 feet!!

Wild in the Pryors

Odakata.  I hope he survives.
Odakata. I hope he survives.
Garay
Garay

I promise, as this summer becomes fall and the fall becomes winter, I will continue to share with you the photos I took throughout this most meaningful summer.

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell.  Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell. Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.

Day Three, Mountain Top (Morning and Afternoon)

Kohl, Quelle Colour and Garay, June 17, 2013
Kohl, Quelle Colour and Garay, June 17, 2013

This morning I slept in.  I did not leave the truck until 5:15 a.m.  I had woke a bit earlier and seeing no horses yet, decided to sleep in a bit more.  Linda is an early riser too.

When I did get out, I saw Garay with his new band.  Quelle Colour and Kohl.  Kohl seemed a little more settled today.  Maybe she was just tired, or maybe she had settled  in to being with Garay.  I wasn’t sure which it was.   She must have been tired, because she would keep Garay moving just a little while later!  I will be looking forward to seeing how she is in two weeks when I return to the mountain.

The bachelors Jupiter and Hernando were by us again this morning.  I was beginning to think that this was a regular pattern for them to come down to this side of the range at night.  It was good to see them again.

Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter
Hernando
Hernando

I do love the light in the morning for photos.  But my priority for my photos are for documentation of the herd.  There are some that come to the mountain that only take photos in the early morning and late afternoon.  That is fine, but for me it is more about a visual recording of the happenings on the mountain.  I enjoy taking photos all day long.

I spotted a few horses not too far down the road.  I looked through the binoculars and saw a dark bay horse.  Was it Grijala again?  I could not see the face front one, but I knew it was not Grijala.  I would recognize that roman nose anywhere!  It was Jasper!!  Another horse that had not been seen for a while.  I could not remember when someone last saw him.  It was really great to see him and boy had he filled out.  He was gorgeous!

He was with Irial.  It did not take long for Jupiter and Hernando to go over and join them.  More boy play and it was only 6:30 am!

Jasper, Hernando and Irial
Jasper, Hernando and Irial
Jasper and Jupiter
Jasper and Jupiter

IMG_4766

Jasper and Irial
Jasper and Irial

IMG_4775

Irial and Jasper
Irial and Jasper
Irial and Jasper
Irial and Jasper
Irial and Jasper
Irial and Jasper
Jupiter, Jasper, Hernando and Irial, June 17, 2013
Jupiter, Jasper, Hernando and Irial, June 17, 2013

IMG_4795

Jasper
Jasper
Teton comes over to talk with the boys
Teton comes over to talk with the boys
Teton and Jupiter
Teton and Jupiter
Jupiter and Teton
Jupiter and Teton
Teton and Hernando
Teton and Hernando

It was great to watch these boys.  After a brief discussion with Teton, they were on their way to see what other trouble they could stir up.

I looked up and saw Gringo’s band standing peacefully.  Never once this trip did I see Gringo tear into Tecumseh.  I sure hope Tecumseh has some time to let his wounds heal.

Gringo and Band with Tecumseh, June 17, 2013
Gringo and Band with Tecumseh, June 17, 2013
Tecumseh, Gringo and Galadrial
Tecumseh, Gringo and Galadrial

I wanted to go check on Gracianna from Duke’s band.  She looked so close to foaling, so I headed down towards Penns.

There are some mud holes on the way that have a lot of water in them right now.  I was hoping to be able to catch some horses drinking from them in this great morning light.  I was lucky this time.  There were several bands using them this morning and there was a lot of action to witness as well.  Blue Moon Breeding Isadora, Tecumseh stirring it up with Blue Moon. Santa Fe action.  Horizon and Fiesta action.  It was fun to watch.

IMG_4830

From left to right: Galadrial, Beulah and Gringo
From left to right: Galadrial, Beulah and Gringo

IMG_4836

Gringo
Gringo
Gringo
Gringo
Halcyon and filly, June 17, 2013
Halcyon and filly, June 17, 2013
Amethyst and Halcyon's filly.
Amethyst and Halcyon’s filly.
Halcyon's filly and Sequoyah
Halcyon’s filly and Sequoyah

IMG_4859

Blue Moon and Isadora
Blue Moon and Isadora

IMG_4869

Tecumseh and Blue Moon
Tecumseh and Blue Moon
Tecumseh and Blue Moon
Tecumseh and Blue Moon

IMG_4891

Blue Moon and filly
Blue Moon and filly
Amethyst
Amethyst
Halcyon
Halcyon
Isadora
Isadora
Isadora and Blue Moon
Isadora and Blue Moon
Fools Gold and Dove
Fools Gold and Dove
Fools Gold and Dove
Fools Gold and Dove
Adona and Dove with LaBrava behind
Adona and Dove with LaBrava behind
Coronado
Coronado
Manuelita
Manuelita
Manuelita and Coronado
Manuelita and Coronado
Manuelita and Coronado
Manuelita and Coronado
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Juniper, Horizon and Fiesta
Juniper, Horizon and Fiesta
Juniper
Juniper
Juniper
Juniper
Juniper and Fiesta
Juniper and Fiesta

IMG_5000

Horizon
Horizon
Horizon and Fiesta
Horizon and Fiesta
Horizon and Fiesta
Horizon and Fiesta

IMG_5008

Horizon and Fiesta
Horizon and Fiesta
Horizon
Horizon
Fiesta
Fiesta

We continued heading down the road.  I saw Jackson’s band in the trees and Duke’s band up the meadow.  No new foal yet.  We stayed there for several hours watching the interaction between the many bands that were heading down towards us.  Some of the photos are a bit blurry, but I decided to post them anyway, so you can see the interaction.

Jacksons band
Jacksons band
Cloud's band
Cloud’s band
Blue Moon, Gringo and Baja Bands
Blue Moon, Gringo and Baja Bands
Cloud's band
Cloud’s band
Garay running after Kohl
Garay running after Kohl
Garay snaking Kohl.  She is still running away!
Garay snaking Kohl. She is still running away!
Heading back
Heading back
Horizon flirting with Quelle Colour
Horizon flirting with Quelle Colour
Horizon and Garay fight
Horizon and Garay fight

IMG_5104

Fiesta takes over
Fiesta takes over
Fiesta and Garay
Fiesta and Garay
Galaxy and Fiesta
Galaxy and Fiesta
Galaxy and Band
Galaxy and Band

IMG_5131

Horizon, Fiesta and Tecumseh
Horizon, Fiesta and Tecumseh

IMG_5138

Garay and Galaxy again
Garay and Galaxy again
Garay and Galaxy
Garay and Galaxy
Chasing after Kohl again
Chasing after Kohl again
Clouds
Clouds
Gringo's band and part of Dukes in the back
Gringo’s band and part of Dukes in the back
Limerick and Ireland
Limerick and Ireland
Galaxy and Maia
Galaxy and Maia
Pococinno and Ireland
Pococinno and Ireland
Hera and Maia
Hera and Maia
Galaxy
Galaxy
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Garay moving his band.  Again.
Garay moving his band. Again.
Galaxy
Galaxy
Galaxy
Galaxy
Nimbus plays with Noble
Nimbus plays with Noble
Nimbus and Noble
Nimbus and Noble

IMG_5218

Chino joins up with some boys.
Chino joins up with some boys.
Mica trys to move his sister back to the band and away from Noble
Mica trys to move his sister back to the band and away from Noble
Noble and Nimbus bug Inocentes.
Noble and Nimbus bug Inocentes.

We made our way back up the road to see what was going on elsewhere.  By now I had seen all mountain top bands except Garcia’s and Cappuccino’s.  Cappuccino usually seems to keep his band down lower on Burnt Timber for longer.  I wasn’t worried.  He did the same thing last year.  Likewise, Garcia seems to keep his band down lower on the Turkey Flats area for longer.  I still had not seen Prince, Starman, Two Boots or Kindra.  I would not see them this trip.  I hope someone else does.  Or there is always next time.

We sat up above Mystic for a while watching the horses nap and interact.

Bolders, Docs and Morning Stars.
Bolders, Docs and Morning Stars.
Tetons and Morning Stars
Tetons and Morning Stars

IMG_5247

Docs
Docs
Chino with some boys
Chino with some boys
Bolders
Bolders
Chino with the Boys.
Chino with the Boys.
Irial, Chino, Hamlet and Hernando
Irial, Chino, Hamlet and Hernando
Coronado's Band and Santa Fe
Coronado’s Band and Santa Fe
Gringo's.
Gringo’s.
Tecumseh
Tecumseh
Chino and Boys
Chino and Boys
Clouds
Clouds
Cloud's band and Santa Fe
Cloud’s band and Santa Fe

IMG_5316

Coronado with Santa Fe dogging.
Coronado with Santa Fe dogging.
Coronado's
Coronado’s
Clouds
Clouds
Custers
Custers
Cloud and Custers
Cloud and Custers

IMG_5374

Coronado chasing Santa Fe away from Manuelita
Coronado chasing Santa Fe away from Manuelita
Coronado and Santa Fe
Coronado and Santa Fe
Coronado and Santa Fe
Coronado and Santa Fe
Manuelita slowly heads back to the rest of the band.
Manuelita slowly heads back to the rest of the band.

Heading back to our campsite, I encountered Jackson and some other bands.  I just got my camera out fast enough to catch Niabra trying to engage Nodin in play.  Fiesta did not care for that and sent her running back to her band!

Niabra
Niabra

IMG_5417 IMG_5419

Nodin and Fiesta
Nodin and Fiesta

As a yearling, Moorcroft is seeming a little too intersted in the bands mares.  Jackson seems to be very patient with him.

Moorcroft with Hertiage
Moorcroft with Hertiage
Jackson and Moorcroft
Jackson and Moorcroft
Nye
Nye
Nye
Nye

Missoula from Teton’s band and Lobo from Bolder’s have a little fun play fighting.

Missoula and Lobo
Missoula and Lobo

IMG_5439 IMG_5440

Mesa, Killian and Lobo
Mesa, Killian and Lobo

It was late afternoon by now, and time for a little break at the campsite.  We sat in the chairs and watched the horses working their way down towards us.  It looked like tonight they would all be surrounding us.  One of the best things I like about camping on top is hearing the whinnies and the thundering of hoofs on the ground running by us.   I knew it would be a good evening for watching and a good night for hearing.  It was also great to be able to share it with my daughter and some really good friends.

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell