Friday, May 26, 2017

I'm With The Band

 

 No More Wild Horses?

Congress just opened the backdoor to killing or slaughtering thousands of them. They also called for accelerated roundups to remove as many as 50,000 from their homes on the range. 

 If this trend continues, soon there could be no more wild horses on the range.

It's time to take a stand. 

 https://youtu.be/0_5qeHhhZYU

 Watch the short video announcement. Then, will you join me? Choose your favorite social media platform whether it be Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Instagram or your own personal blog.

Here is the link to get on board : 

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/56759-are-you-with-the-band

 Spread the word!

On May 30, 2017, the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) and people around the world will join their voices in #ImWithTheBand, a social media campaign that sends our collective demand across the country and will raise money to fight what may be the last stand to save our wild horses!

 
 

 

 
“ America's wild horses are making their last stand in the West. Will you stand with them?  

 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Sound of the Wind

 

“(She) finally understood the sound of the wind after all these years: 

The winds were a chorus of the prairie’s ever-present heartaches.”     

~ Andrew Galasetti

 
 
 
 

  One morning, a few weeks ago, I had a bad case of cabin fever. I checked the weather forecast and it was going to snow in town. Again. But, it was looking a little drier and definately sunnier where the wild horses live. So, I stuck my camera, a Nalgene of water and a banana in my backpack and headed south. I grabbed a 'road cup' from Starbucks and hopped on Hwy 220. I was on my way. Destination: Stewart Creek. Mustang country.

I hadn't been anywhere for awhile. I was so tired of being limited as to what I could and could not do with a cast on my arm. Everything took so much effort. I felt drained. My eyes wandered and my thoughts were foggy as I drank my coffee and thought about the wild horses I might see. Sure enough, the further south I went, the sky opened up to patches of blue. Then I saw the sun! It was shining on red dirt hills and yucca shoots to my right and I guess I got caught in a trance. Lost in the beauty of the drive, I failed to yield to a State Trooper, who was issueing another driver a ticket on the side of the road. I swerved way over, but, apparantly, not soon enough for his liking.

Mister state trooper, please don't stop me. Please don't stop me, please don't stop me ~Bruce Springsteen

Dang it! I pulled over, rolled down my window and the first thing he said was "Were you on your phone?"

Mister State Trooper would laugh out loud if he saw my phone. I still use a flip-phone! So, no sir, my phone is actually turned off and buried somewhere deep in my messenger bag. I do not txt and drive like everybody else does.

After a short lecture we both came to the conclusion that I was sight-seeing while trying to juggle my coffee cup and steer at the same time with one hand while looking at the scenery, not paying attention to the road. Which is true. I said I was sorry as he handed me a $210 dollar ticket. 

Turning North onto Mineral X Road, everything changed. My shoulders relaxed, I took some major deep breaths, I was no longer tense or nervous. I was alone and far away and I felt safe. All I could think about was how much I needed to see some familiar mustang faces. I drove slowly, my eyes peeled at such wonder that surrounded me, taking it all in. I was HOME. Five miles later I pulled over to the side of the road, walked out into the sage,  sat down and cried.

Stewart Creek is a herd management area (HMA) for wild horses. It is also a conservation home to raptors. On this day I had the pleasure of seeing some hawks flying in and out of stormy looking clouds. I must have counted a million meadowlarks and horned larks zipping around the sagebrush that I was lingering in. This part of the Great Divide Basin is said to be harsh, dry and barren. It is also rich in cactus flowers and rare flora and it's full of fauna. Pronghorn antelope are everywhere. I've seen sage grouse camouflaged in the brush, burrowing owls, plovers, Long-billed curlews and plentiful jack rabbits, pygmy and cotton tails. On this particular day I saw a coyote and piles of scat on my walk. It's not unheard of for mountain lions to come down from Green Mountain and prowl this desert, as well. 

And every time I go out looking for wild horses in this region of the Red Desert, I am reminded that this basin was the home of the last known herd of wild buffalo in Wyoming. 

I spotted six horses grazing in the distance. Some unfamiliar faces. Leisurely, I hiked out about half a mile to them. This small family band was skeptical. The closer I got the further they went. I didn't pursue them anymore but just stood and watched them from a good distance. Out of nowhere, like a gust of wind, all together they took off in a gallop, heads bobbing, manes and forelocks flying every which way. They all followed one another in the same manner, charging around, lunging and spinning together, round and round they went. 

After their performance, they all stopped for a minute, gave me one last look and took off running down the hill at high speed until they were out of sight. I doubt they heard me clappping. 

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lately

These days i seem to think a lot about the things that i forgot to do.

~Jackson Browne

I wish i had designed this card. The only thing missing is a cat and a cup of coffee. 
Illustration by Cat Seto
Owls are in the trees outside my house. For the past three weeks I've been sung to sleep or awakened by the song of a pair of 
Great Horned owls. I believe in spirit animals and the owl has always been mine.
I'm looking for deeper meaning in their presence. 
I'm in love with nothingness.
 
Looking like true indian ponies, these horses live in the Crooks Mountain herd area which is part of Wyoming's Red Desert Complex.
Green Mountain is also in the Red Desert Complex, where the mighty Beast lives, along with Tuffy, Jigsaw, Bliss, Silver, King, Ghost, January, Ruby, Dragon, Topaz, Muzzle, Little Green, Crooked Star, the Three Prairie Sisters and Pony Boy. 
Although, Pony Boy has not been seen since the summer of 2013, we always keep our fingers crossed that our paths will meet again.
"Where's Pony Boy?"
My first extremely small batch of sage harvest. 
Will someone please turn off the SNOW?
Trying to rid my mind, body & soul of negative thoughts. 
Lately, I find myself feeling agitated, intolerant, bitter and disenchanted. I don't like it.
So, I turn to Buddha's philosophy.
 
We found some wild horses in an area the BLM call Dishpan Butte. These horses are part of a Herd Management Area called 
 The North Lander Complex. Three other herds make their home on this public land
which consists of three hundred sixty-eight thousand acres. 
They are: Conant Creek, Muskrat Basin and Rock Creek Mountain herds. 
Sadly, and not surprising, they want to reduce the amount of horses in this area to meet the needs of cattlemen, who are allowed to graze their cows on this public land for a very low cost. Oh, yes! The world needs more cows! 
NOT.
 Cricket and her stallion Gold Dust of the Red Desert. 
Inspirational reading. 
And beading.
We call this squirrel Child of Chaca. He doesn't like me (yet).
I think he watched me bury his mother so he shys away from me and the peanuts I offer him.
He will, however, take nuts from Chad's hand.
Wanna see my battle scar? (I have something in common with the mustangs now). 
My good doctor used the "baseball stitch."  There is a titanium plate from the base of my thumb and then up my arm. It's been challenging to say the least. I still have to wear my velcro brace when I go to work. When I'm not wearing it, Skye likes to sleep in it.
Understandably, as it smells of cocoa butter, vitamin E, bergamot, lavender and a touch of patchouli.