August 7th, 2014

The morning of the 7th found most of the horses down in the meadow across from the Little Ice Cave road.  There were a few new bands here that I didn’t get to see the night before very close. Boulder and Hernando are the two that come to mind, plus some bachelors.

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For the most part it was peaceful, but as we wandered through the trees checking groups out we would hear commotion now and then.  When we got back tot he area that the bachelors were in, we found that it was them disturbing the quiet.  Lobo was at the center of it.  There was some minor jousing with Mica.  Jasper stepped in, and of course the action had to happen in the trees so that you could tell what was going on but not get pictures of it.

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They did move into the opening eventually, and we saw some minor skirmishes with them.

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The majority of the sparring took place between Lobo and Moorcroft.  I pulled my favorite shots out of the encounters to share.

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August 6th, 2014 – Pryor Mountain

Having been a while since I had been to the Pryor range, Ahnya and I decided to spend a night on the mountain.  The first horses we encountered as we approached the top were Jupter and Demure. Jupiter is solidly built and I believe he will command a much larger harem in years to come.

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Some of the changes on the mountain this year are still hard for me to accept as being more than short term, but it is far enough into the summer to discount them like some of the March and April events.  It is still tough for me to think of Jackson’s band as someone elses. The next band I saw was another change that is still sinking in.  In both cases things could return to how I have known them, but there is just as good a chance that they won’t.  Dove was the easiest to spot in the band, but I did not even see Coronado dogging the band.  Irial is the current band stallion.  I think this is a pretty large group for his experience level.  

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I may have remained with this group a little longer, but I could see Galaxy and Cloud’s bands to the left …

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and foals trump all else if they are ones I have not been able to observe.  First was Ohanzee with Cloud, Inocentes and Feldspar.  

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Right behind them was Galaxy’s band with little Oro.

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As we drove toward Penn’s Cabin we found that a few bands were in the meadow just above the pond.  I saw Bolder over toward the cabin and some more horses down along the road before it heads into the woods on its way to Sykes, but decided to go for the nearby horses as I could see 2 foals.  They were Okomi, who I had seen before, and Olivia, who I hadn’t. She was very active during the time I watched.  While *Doc’s band*, Mescalero’s, and Blue Moon’s was present, the best discovery was of a new foal with Baja’s.  

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Catching up

With the end of the school year being a busy time, I have photos from a few trips that I have not been able to edit or post.  I am finally done with school as of Thursday ( with some student council scrapbook work until today).  I would like to say that now I can catch up and post, but I also know that I will end up camping and running around- so most of my posting will be on days when I need a break at home in between mowing, weeding and catching up on laundry.

The first post I will update is old news to many, but I can at leats get some pictures up.  The week after middle school track ended in mid-May, Ahnya and I decided to visit both Pryor and Yellowstone.  While I had heard of many of the changes and knew Cloud had been being dogged and had some mares taken, I wasn’t sure exactly who had whom ( and that still probably isn’t settled).  The first horse I saw and recognized was Encore/Nimbus.  I was hoping I would see Cloud and how he was doing, but I quickly noticed she was with an odd set that I wasn’t expecting.

 

 

 

 

 

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For the most part, things were calm

 

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Every now and then, the 3 bachelors would get whipped up and chase Nimbus around, and get in small skirmishes.

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Then it would settle back down to calmy following her around.  This is what it was for most of the day I saw them. It did mean that Nimbus was getting moved all over without as much rest as a normal band, but she seemed to be ok.Image

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One of the other bands that I saw that was involved in the many spring changes was Mescalero’s.  Everyone looked fine.

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I also saw the stallion with the glorious wavy-mane. ( Most of you know who I am talking about)

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I ran across Knight and company again.  I saw him again Memorial Day weekend, and he still had this cool color. I am getting better at colors, but not sure where he falls.  He has bay roan characteristics, but also has a champagne look left.  It may have faded by now as he hits full summer coat, but I really liked the way he looked on this and the subsequent trip.

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I noticed where someone had taken a motorized vehicle down the old trail from the top toward the mineral lick/guzzler.  I am pretty sure that this is an area that is not supposed to be travelled, but people don’t always follow the rules.

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At the time of this trip, I saw this lone bachelor.  

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Since it looked like more rain was coming in, we headed back down to check the dryhead before going to Yellowstone.

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The greeter gals were lounging around a lot, while Hickok ate and moved around more.

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I didn’t see any of the dryhead foals until the next trip, just greeters and bachelors, so Ahnya and I headed to Yellowstone.

Easter Weekend 3 – Saturday

Saturday morning was the first time in a long time that I was woken up by the sound of horses outside my camp area. It was great to hear that again. The horses had moved a little as none had visited us the day before, but they were all still in the same general area from the first guzzler on the right out to Burnt Timber Canyon. It was Galaxy’s group that had moved through camp, and we could see Cloud over to ou left. Cappuccino’s had appeared to move to the front ridges.

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We decided to drive a little and see if we could see anyone new.  We were able to find Jackson’s band.  It was good to see Jackson, and even without Heritage and Jasmine he still has a nice sized band.  In my opinion, Firestorm looks pregnant. I would say Brumby does also, but she has burned me before.  Galena didn’t look as much like she was to me.

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Also in the area was Mescalero again.  Half Moon probably isn’t pregnant as Mescalero tried to breed her.  The look on her face didn’t seem impressed, and Missoula came over to say he wasn’t, either.

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On the way home, we routed by McCullough Peak HMA.  We were able to find a band near the road.  The mares were Tecumseh’s, but a black horse that may be Saguaro was leading them and fighting off another stallion.

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While we could see some horses out in an area I have not learned the roads to yet, we were able to find one lone stallion before heading home.

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Easter weekend 2 – Orlando/Oscar

A special post that is mainly about 1 horse, which I am sure many will be fine with many.  I was pretty sure that the band I could see at the end of Turkey Flats was Garcia’s and that there was afoal, but I had to hike out and check for sure.  I was able to spend enough time with the band to see the foal pee, and when it went to the familiar position my male dog uses I knew it was a colt (or a very confused filly).

While I had an idea for a filly when Sandy did “the name game” post, I had not come up with a colt name for Greta/Garcia. I am not sure if colts defer to the father’s naming instead of Gretat’s movie star origins.  I think the best to fit both would be Orlando.  Orlando is a spanish name, to go with Garcia.  It could also be Orlando Bloom for Greta’s side.  I know he is not classical like Greta Garbo, Belle Star, Norma Jean etc- but for people of my generation, anyone that was both Legolas and Will Turner in two blockbuster series has pretty good credentials.  Orlando also means “famed land” or similar.  Knowing Garcia’s groups and how they always seem to find their own little hiding spots, this can fit, too.  So 90% of me says “Orlando”.  My first thought was actually to give Greta a second honorary “Oscar” since she never won one for her roles.  Any thoughts?

Without further adieu, the pictures you have been waiting for:

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I left the colt to sleep, and hiked back to the parking area.  After all of the morning hiking we decided to check the park out.  Little did I know it then, but I was very close to seeing a second foal.  We did spot Fiero, but decided not to hike out and see his band.

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The last group we saw before heading to town for subs and then back up to our camping spot on Burnt Timber was Blizzard, who I had not seen in a while.

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Easter weekend 1

Easter weekend marks one of the few spring weekends when I do not have either academic team or middle school track on the weekend, so Ahnya and I decided to run over to the Pryor range after swim lessons Thursday night.  Awaking to my normal school schedule on Friday, I decided to let Ahnya sleep a little longer while I took a quick hike out ot the Big Lick and water guzzler.  The first horse I encountered was Cloud.  I saw his band a lot the  2 days in the area, so most of these pictures of them are not from the early morning visit.

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Ona  hill a little above the lick was Cappuccino’s band.  It was larger than I am used to, but I knew I had seen updates where he added members here and there.  Jackson often seems to lose a girl or two in the spring, but then seems to get them back by the time things settle down for the summer.

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A quick check of the guzzler revealed Galax’s group.  Since I had seen them the last time out, I didn’t take many pictures Image

 

I did see some groups waaayyyy out on the other side of Burnt Timber Canyon, in what may be called area Q.  I knew I didn’t have time to hike to them since I wanted to get back and wake Ahnya up.  I could see the area from a few different locations over the next day, and I am pretty sure that 1 group was Bolder’s and Tecumseh was also dogging Gringo through there.

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We were able to drive to just below Cheyenne Flats.  Someone had pushed through the drift right below it, but it didn’t seem worth it, so we just hiked from there.  We saw a grulla/o from the road, but never found it while hiking. I also could not find any horses across on the Sykes side.

On our way back down we encountered 2 tracked orv’s heading up to work on the weather station near Penn’s ( interagency fire).  We found the 2 guys hiking down the road later in the day because their 2 machines kept getting bogged down in the heavier, melting snow up top as the day warmed.  They broke both and had to hike back down.  We gave them a lift the last mile or so to their truck.

At the first guzzler to the right was Mescalero and part of Teton’s band.  I remembered Sandy talking about Mescalero and Teton last year, and while it didn’t happen right away it now seemed like a foreshadowing of the current situation.

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Snce I had seen most of the horses out near the BTC guzzler and lick, plus some new horses seemed to be moving in from up above, we decided to hike out to it for lunch.  The new horses turned out to be another splinter from Teton’s band, Phoenix and War Bonnet with Hernando.

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I left Ahnya to eat lunch while i made a side trip for a lonely horse.

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When I came back, she was taking pictures of Galaxy and Hernando’s groups.

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We finished lunch and then decided to drive down and check out the Sykes side of the range, after a quick jog out  to the end of Turkey Flats which is probably the highlight of the trip.

Spring Break 3 – The Hidden Valley

I was pretty sure I would not be able to drive up Sykes Ridge, so my choices Wednesday were to head back over to Burnt Timber to try and find the horses I didn’t see the day before, or to go over Sykes from the park side.  While drving through the park, looking for horses and weighing my options, I decided it might be worth trying the pass just across from the Devils overlook road.  I am not sure if this is what is called “Bad Pass”, or if that is the next one down, but I decided to try it.  There was a nice place to park from when they did the powerline work, and the pass entrance isn’t too far from the road.  The entrance starts out narrow, but opens up and runs a long ways up to the area the guzzler is in.

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It took a while to get up to the open area where the upper loop of Sykes Ridge Road goes around the coulee, but once I was there I started to see horses on some of the ridges above me.  The closest looked like Fools Crow’s band, and I was sure Jemez was part of the higher group.  I made my way to Fools Crow, Icara and Morgana first.

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From them I was able to get on an older, unused road that led up the ridge next to the one where I saw Jemez.  Johnston was with him, as I suspected.  The other horses I had not been able to tell for sure fromt he bottom, but it turned out to be Hidalgo’s band, with Fresia and Montana.

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When mapping my route on google earth, I noticed a picture of “sykes arch” that I hadn’t noticed while hiking. Looking at my pictures, I think that is it right behind Johnston.

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I also noticed that there were more horses behind the 5 I was watching, higher up on the ridge. You can see the black dots in between Jemez and Hidalgo, just over their ridge.

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Zoomed in shot of the far horses, that I now believe are Jewel (for sure), Halo and Hawk. More about them later.

The rest of my time up on the ridge, I shifted focus between the near groups and the far group.  I tried to set Hidalgo’s group up to get some shots with good backgrounds. I was on the wrong side for the light to cooperate with this task.

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There are 2 shots that make me think Hawk was the lead stallion up higher, but I am less familiar with the dryhead horses and could be wrong.  I almost think I can see some of his disconnected strip in the first, zoomed in.

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Notice there is no sock, so this is not another of Jewel.

Jewel and Mercuria were there.

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I think Belle Star may have been the furthest up horse, more to herself.

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I did move one ridge closer, on the one above Jemez, Johnston and Hidalgo’s, but I didn’t see a good way to get over to the far horses with the snow being more solid and the steepness between us.  I had a decent handle on at least some of them, so I decided to make my way back down the ridge I was on.Image

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As I continued down the ridge, I saw Medicine Bow in the bottom.

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I saw Fools Crow’s band one last time.

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I had not seen Hidatsa when I had come through the bottom, but I saw Jerad taking pictures of him from higher up and he was still in the area when I got down.

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Not seeing any other horses, I made my way back through the pass, toward the light rock just past the dark ridge.  Notice how much more snow remains on the North facing slope than the South facing slope.

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I did stop in one large cave/eroded area near the bottom to look at the icicles and weeping wall.  There are so many neat little geological areas on the range.

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