Want, need, conscience, balance

If you have followed the blog you already know that I was having some trouble with my Nikon 70-300 lens.  I had already had it fixed and it was easy to justify getting a new lens to replace it with the plan of fixing it down the road.  A longer lens was always on my wish list for pulling bear or wolf in a little closer and just allowing longer viewing in general which is easier on any wild subject.  I did end up getting the Sigma 50-500 with the OS.

As with any larger purchase, there is always the afterthought of whether I really needed it, and the answer is no.  I was getting by with the shorter lens and it’s not like I’m making my living on photography.  If anything it is probably a negative economic endeavor, not even counting gas for travel and other expenses related to the trip because I would probably do them with or without a camera. 

The point of this writing is not about the merits of photography.  It is more a focus on an internal struggle dealing with need versus want and where to strike a balance.  On Sunday, Ryan’s class used scripture from Mark 12 concerning the widows 2 mites.  Jesus commented on how many rich gave out of excess.  Not that they didn’t give, but just that they gave the extra- like when many of us say to ourselves “If I can win the lottery I would give X”  You know, once I am set personally, then I can give more.  Then a widow came in and gave “more than all the contributors” even though she gave a fraction of a penny, because it was all she had to live on.  She put her trust in God  to provide and thought of how she could help others more than herself.

There was a lot of other discussion, but what I have, what I want and what more I could do is always something I debate.  I may not have a lot of the fancy things some have, but I have an FJ, a truck, a house, a nice camera and lenses, the ability to travel.  I am fortunate.  Would I like to have enough land to have some horses?  An ATV to get up Sykes?  A cabin on the mountain?  Of course I would want them…want not need.

This comes up in my mind often, but 2 specific cases from the past week highlight the struggle over how much to give to help others.  The first is with the Legacy Mustang Preserve.  You can find out more about them and their cause at their site : http://www.ilovemustangs.org/ .  As they mention in their welcome “The  majority see the politics. We see the horses themselves”.  They are losing their lease on their farm but have the opportunity to buy it if they can raise a substantial amount of money.  I think they truly care about the horses and do good work.  So how much to give?  Do I give a decent amount for an immediate need, or save to get my own farm and personally do what I can to take care of the horses?  If I hadn’t just bought the new lens couldn’t I have done more of both?

This is a less frequent issue and dealing with horses.  Not that I don’t love the horses, but what about people?   After bible study today, Ahnya and I drove to Taco Bell to pick up some unhealthy dinner.  Sitting on the sidewalk with a gas can and a sign was a man that looked like he had seen better days.  An old school bus that had been made into a home of sorts was behind him in the Wal-mart parking lot.  It is not the first time that some one in need has been in the vicinity of the Wal-mart parking lot.  So do you help each of them?

I did want to help.  Coffeen is busy so I parked near the bus, explained to Ahnya why she couldn’t go with me and gave instructions on locking the door and not showing herself ( which is sad and adds another factor to the internal debate).  I walked toward him and asked if he needed some money.  He said “desperately”.  I had already set aside an amount I was going to give him in my pocket while we were at the Taco Bell drive-through.  It was enough to get some food and some gas (although at today’s prices not much anymore).  It is always a struggle to know how much to give, or even if it is wise or safe to give it to anyone.  Being on the edge of Sheridan’s busiest street makes it appear a little safer, but the news shows that there is crazy anywhere.

Again, looking at what I have and the lens I just bought, could I have given more?  I won’t lie, but the fact that in this specific case he had 3 very cute kittens in his lap made me debate it more than usual.  Kittens.  There is no way of knowing if these are the only 3 companions bringing joy to his life or if he is a seasoned transient that knows what works well.  Does it really matter?

How easy it is to rationalize why we shouldn’t help.  I already mentioned the safety factor, which is real with a daughter to raise.  A traditional:  “How do I know they won’t just go buy alcohol?”.  I thought of it and Ahnya and I discussed it, and I don’t know that he won’t.  Does that matter?  To an extent yes, I don’t want to support some one getting themselves further into a hole.  At the same time, if we are to be Christlike it is not as though he came to help only those that were “worthy” or going to live perfectly.  If he had our same mind-set he could have said “Why should I die for them, they are just going to go sin again”.  Obviously it is not the exact same but I think that sometimes the “not knowing what they are going to do with the money” is an excuse.  There are also probably better ways for me to get around that like buying the actual gas for the can or asking what he wanted to eat and buying the food.  I don’t think that was necessary myself in this case and even if he didn’t need it or doesn’t use it wisely I will not go without food from what I gave so why worry about what happens with it now. The question with myself is always should I be doing more?

Do I need some of the things I have that don’t do much, like the hutch, or should I sell it and help worthy causes?  Maybe even have a bible with some inspirational verses highlighted and some money marking them under the seat should another opportunity arise.  The money could help provide food or clothes, but the bible could provide bread “that he may never hunger”.

I’m not even sure the struggle is about where the balance should be, but more a struggle to completely give up control and trust in the Lord to provide what I need and not worry about the things that I just want.  It is also a very un-American idea that goes against the capitalistic system I have been raised in. Well, we’re living in a material world, and I’m a material girl… or boy. … (movie anyone?)

 

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May 24 part 3 – What goes down must come up

After loop back around the meadow and back down BT, I decided to check the guzzler out on Cheyenne Flats.  A lot of horses had been in the area in he morning, so maybe some were around.  We did find Garay, QC and Kohl drinking there.  Then in my usual thought process I decided I should hike down just a little to get a better view…and a little more… and again.  By the time I could see there were quite a few horses down at the Big Lick I had a tough choice.  I could hike back to the FJ and then head out my usual flat route to the horses, or keep going down.  I wasn’t sure if some horses were still heading down and there were some turkey buzzards floating around, so I decided to continue down the ridge.

When I got to the bottom there were 3 groups. Closest to me was Jackson’s.

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I could also see Doc’s group on the hill, with a foal.

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Moving back from the BL was Teton’s band.  I am not sure who that is in front of him.  It sort of looks like Missoula except she is only a year old and this horse looks all grown up…

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I heard Doc make some noise and run back to Demure with his wee wee flopping ( I chose not to include pictures because Flickr experience says there are perverts out there).  I wondered if he was worried other horses were too close, or Demure and the foal were just a little too far, or maybe he saw me and was being protective.  Then he revealed his true motive.  “If you have given birth to this year’s foal, it is time to start thinking of next year, mare”

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Jackson concurs.

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I had to watch Firestorm’s new foal, most likely a filly that will be named Niobrara, for a little while longer before moving to Demure’s.

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I was able to move to the little draw that Doc’s band would pass through before they got there so that they could decide how close they wanted to approach as they moved through.   They did not seem to mind me and I got a decent view of them all.  I believe the foal is a filly.  It did appear that it had diarrhea at some point, but if Doc is breeding Demure it could be “foal heat diarrhea” which I just read about and don’t really know too much about, or just younger and had some trouble.  It looked to be feeling well with lots of energy and it seemed like a lot of the time it was leading Demure.

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I am less sure of what name I think this foal should have.  I do not know the origin of Doc’s name, whether the profession or Doc Holliday or something else.  I do know Demure can be shy, humble.  Sandy reminded me that someone, maybe me but my memory seems to be going, suggested Naive for a Demure foal.  That might be a decent idea.  Nadine means Hope and would be ok, but I think I like Naive better.

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 What I have been searching for to name this foal/filly, I have not been able to find.  It’s grandfathers are Little Foot and Two Boots that both deal with feet (Nike?).  Its grandmothers are Broken Bow and Winnemucca, so I think Native American would be nice. I have been searching for a Native american term that begins with N and either has to do with feet, or the word doctor.  I will let everyone know if I find something.

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Doc’s band was all present and back to normal.

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I wanted to check on the skull and get better pictures of the top teeth, and I had seen Duke’s moving to the BL so I stopped and grabbed some shots when he stuck his head up.

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It wasn’t much further to the remains, but I almost debated not going.  It was extra I would have to hike and I still had the huge climb back up to my vehicle on Cheyenne Flats.  I hadn’t planned on going all the way down so I didn’t have water and Malaki and I were thirsty.  I did go, and I think the skull may be older than I thought. I also noticed a pile of rocks not too far from it, so maybe somebody already knows who it is.

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As I ascended the ridge I was able to see Garay’s band heading down on the ridge over and I assume Cloud’s on my ridge because I saw Mica.

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After longs drinks of water, Malaki and I decided we would drive down and check out lower sykes before dark.  We could see some one from one of my look outs, but I was not sure who.  I didn’t figure I had time to hike out, and I wanted to get some dinner and head to McCullough to sleep for the night.  I was mostly planning on going to Yellowstone, but the thought of all the people that would be there had me thinking of another idea.

May 24 part 2 – Over the top to Sykes

I wasn’t sure if there was going to be any snow up top to stop me, but I knew that going around the top and down Sykes to the arch would be a LOT better than going from the bottom and hitting he mega wash-out.  From Cheyenne Flats up to the little ice cave turn I hadn’t seen any one and that was ok with me since it seems a little early for them to be moving up.  They should continue to enjoy the lower green until it starts to dry out and then move up the top.  Of course the horses will do what they please and have done fine on their own in the past.

From where I camp I could see a lone horse out on the side of the side valley.  He was moving toward the top, so I went ahead of him and caught him right around Lakota’s place. Hernando paused as he went through and then continued to the other side of the meadow and back toward Penn’s Cabin.  This is the first I had seen him in a while so it was good to see him.

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I could also see 2 groups to the right of Penn’s Cabin on the slopes.  I was thinking maybe it was some Sykes horses, but it was Gringo’s and Baja’s bands.  Gringo still have Tecumseh following him and had to chase him off at one point.  I am not sure Tecumseh will be able to win any mares back from the sturdy Gringo; I just hope he doesn’t get injured.  Nothing was serious last year, but he got pretty beat up with little wounds.

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Baja had 3 mares so I thought things were back to normal, but upon looking it would appear he has lost 1 but gained 1.

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In seeing Baja I did not answer a question, but was presented with a new one.  I never saw Meadowlark, nor Chino, so it will take a future visit by some one to figure it out if it is possible.

I did see Coronado’s, but did not take the time to hike out to them.

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The next little band I saw was initially a mystery to me.  I remembered hearing something about Irial having a mare/foal, but couldn’t recall who.  I texted Sandy and then came across the answer later that was confirmed by her text back.  I think irial is a handsome stallion and it would be nice for him to have a harem of his own.  Of course, I could say that about almost every stallion out there.  This was also the first time I got to see Niyaha.  I saw again on my way back up.

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As I continued down, i thought I saw Bolder and 2 of his mares down a canyon on the hillside.  I thought maybe they were moving down to hit the bottom and then come back up at the guzzler a ridge or tow over.  I decided to move on further and then hike out to maybe catch a better view of them.  I never saw them so I don’t know if I had seen him and they never came my way or if I had mistaken someone else for them.

As I moved down to where I was going to hike I ran into one of the newer groups I had read about.  Hidalgo had everyone except Belle Star with him.  She may have gone back with Fool’s Crow.

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I moved down the ridge and found Mescalero, Rosarita and Polaris.  Malakai and I thought we heard some other movement in the trees below, but decided against going down the side into the trees.

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On the other side of the ridge we found Morning Star’s and Corona’s bands.  There are some beautiful horses in Morning Star’s little band, and I have heard he is a hunk himself.

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This was the first time I saw Norte, but I didn’t get too many good pictures with the angle of the mid-day sun.  I did not want to disturb them, so I let them rest until they decided to graze down the hill, and left back to the FJ.

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The only other pairing I saw going back up to the top meadow was Fiesta and Juniper.  I never saw Horizon, but he could have been hidden from view some where.  The next trip out some one will have to check on that, too.

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The last part of my day was to look for Doc, which will be detailed in part 3.

May 24 part 1- Firestorm

I had Felicity Jane pretty much packed so that when I got home Thursday I could jump out of Frank, grab Malakai and head to the range.  I was hoping to at least find the area the horses were in before I camped for the night.  I arrived just in time as it was starting to rain so I made my way up BT before it could get slippery.  It wasn’t too bad as I passed the FGR area and came across Cloud’s band.  With the clouds it was darker than usual, but his little filly is so hard to take pictures of during the day because she is such a bright white compared to everything else.  This is probably one of the better shots I got of her on the trip to show her color.

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I moved to my favorite spot to scan some different areas where the horses hang out, and could see 3 moving in the bottom.  I was pretty sure one was QC (on the right), which would make the black one Kohl, but the third one did not look like Grijalla.  I had an idea, but would have to wait until Friday to hike out and check.

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I also found Jackson’s group and it appeared there was a foal with them.  It is right in the middle of this shot.

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After watching a pretty intense thunderstorm move over the range, I went to bed wondering where I should go first in the morning to find Jackson and see more of Firestorm’s foal.  It turns out I did not need to.  When I first woke up at 5:15 they were right in view from the FJ. I had to wait a little until if got light enough for pictures, but I was able to watch them for a while.

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It eventually got lighter as they moved up into a draw.  I could see Duke’s group on a hill a little past them and watched as Cloud moved his group right through where Jackson had just been.  I moved up the road so I could wait for Jackson’s band to appear out of the draw.

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A lot of times when you  set up there is a small tree somewhere in front of you, and 98% of  the time it seems like the best shots happen right behind where it blocks your view.  I was thinking that was going to happen this time but it turns out I was very fortunate becase as I watched Jackson’s band approach a bluebird perched on it.

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I watched Jackson’s band for a long time so I could see more of Firestorm’s foal, which I am pretty sure is a filly.  I have been wrong before, though.  I am not sure what I would suggest for a name.  Last year someone came up with the idea of Maelstrom and I liked it.  If things were to go in that line I would think Nitro, although that is more of a colt, or Nemesis.  I do know they use town names for the rest of Jackson’s which is limited in Wyoming and Montana.  The only Montana ones I could find online were Nashua and Neihart and Sandy knew of Nye for Galena’s.  In Wyoming there is Newcastle, which I don’t like.  A place name I do like that is a Wyoming county along with a formation and Nebraska place is Niobrara.  The Niobrara valley/river also comes from the Ponca native american tribe that lived in that area..

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It was a fairly peaceful time except for Moorcroft harassing Jasmine…

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and bugging Maelstrom for a short time…

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but mostly just pestering Jasmine.

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Another Nye.

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I hiked out in a direction that I thought would get me to Duke’s, but before I got there I ran across QC, Kohl and the horse I had thought was with them Thursday evening, Garay.  Since I had not seen him in a long time, it was good to see him.  It was also bittersweet as it meant that Grijalla was probably now alone and hopefully doing well.

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Just over the ridge from them was Duke’s band.  Madonna is looking a little shaggy or old to me, but the rest look to be doing well. I am not sure who is pzp’ed right now but Gracianna looks pretty round in my opinion.  Noble is growing, Meriwether too and I think Lariat is becoming stunning.

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I could also see Cloud and his band from where I was watching Duke.  I took a few pictures as Feldspar watched over her sleeping offspring that would occasionally lift their head before flopping back down.

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ImageImageI left them resting and walked back to my car to eat lunch and see if I could glimpse anyone down at the lick or guzzler.  I knew I needed to find Doc’s group, but I decided I would try and go around the top and down Sykes to where I could see some horses.  Part 2 will cover that segment of the day.

Ahnya’s May trip

One of the best things about my trips to Yellowstone and the Pryors is that my daughter is often with me growing up with a love of nature.  She has my old D60 so that she can be just as much a part of the photography as I am.  She does have a wide 18-105, so she can’t get very close shots outside of some of the wild horses, but for her it is more about holding it steady and learning how to set up where you won’t disturb the animals and letting them move in a manner they are comfortable.  I did let her try the 300 for a few bear shots, but it was a little heavier for her.  I look forward to each trip we get to take.  Here are Ahnya’s pictures from the last trip we had.

 

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2009

A second retro-post from the Pryor mountains.  In 2009, I made my first trip up Burnt Timber.  I don’t think I went past the wilderness study area, but that would have seemed pretty far up in a first trip up BT before I knew how far it was really to the top.

My April 25th trip I started on the dryhead and saw Sam and Hightail again.

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I don’t believe I saw any other dryhead horses this trip, and I think I tried Sykes before deciding that wasn’t a great idea and going to burnt timber.  The horses were in the same area then as you can find them in late April now.  One of the first horses I found was one that I later labelled “beautiful horse” when I was looking at the pictures.  This was before I really knew about winter vs summer coats, but she can still look stunning.

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At this time she was still with her father, who I just called “prowlin stallion”.  The first stallion to greet me up BT and that I got to see snaking from was the late Lakota.

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The next group I saw included this little cutie, which had to be fairly young now that I know the usual foaling times.  The lovely Jasmine:

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While I know Aztec, I never got to know Arrow.

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I had not identified it until just now, but I am guessing this is Baileys looking young.  I can’t remember if anyone has seen her this spring so if some one has refresh my memory in the comments.

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No offense to the others, but there were 2 horses that caught my interest and occupied most of my shots for a while.  The first is the punk-orange hair looking Hailstorm with the usual 2-year old curiosity.

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While it ruined what I thought was my best shot of her at the time, I am glad that I don’t see much litter on the range, or at least on the less-driven BT.  Let’s hope it stays cleaner like that.

The second horse is no longer there, but I wish I had more time with her.

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Rain with her family, Jasmine on the ground:
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2009 band scenic

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I didn’t know it at the time, but the first time I saw Cloud

My second trip to the Pryors in 2009 came on May 23rd.  The first horse I saw according to time stamps was Exhilaration.

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I didn’t see anyone else until all the way out in the Mustang Flats area. I guess this would be my first view of Chief Joseph now that I look at years and colors.

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And another foal I can’t quite place, but it was about 1 minute after the last picture and the others follow, so I bet some of you out there will know who it is.

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Driving back through the range I spotted a colt in one of the draws that I always check closely now.  It was Jemez and family.

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Who’s that pretty yearling he’s kissing? Hint: Not on the range but you hear about her often.

I believe that concludes my 2 filled trips from 2009.  It is only 4 years ago, but it seems like such a long time.  Removals have come and gone, some have passed  and I knew some of these horses as young adults before I knew who they were in my older pictures as foals.

Bowl reborn

Given its spiritual theme, I meant to get this up yesterday.  Looking back on it, I think it is a little cliche.  I have no picture to go with it like some of my other writings.  I had plans of a pit in the ground with flames coming out and a pedestal in the middle with a bowl I had made ad reglued myself to be “artsy”.  Now that the poem has lost my favor, it will probably remain photo-less.

My beginnings were meager,
dust of the Earth drawn together,
molded and shaped,
or misshaped.

Physically flawed,
but perfect in ideal,
in the mind of my creator-
formed for a purpose.

I waited in darkness
with others like me,
not knowing my destiny
until my savior opened the door
and the light reached me,
harkening me to my calling.
My usefulness judged not by appearance,
but what I held inside me.

My master filled me with food,
life-giving sustenance to all who accepted his offering.
The world soiled me.
Only continual washing could cleanse me.
Submerged as a contaminated container,
raised spotless,
able to ascend again.

Then I fell to the Earth so hard
it broke me.
My life was shattered.
Unable to put myself back together,
only my savior could make me whole again.

Now I lead a new life.
No longer able to hold filth,
I am set on a pedestal
above the world,
so all may see my creator’s simple bowl.

A shining example of the Great Artist’s perfect work.