Friday, October 31, 2014

Bundling Up The Wild

I'm wrapping up little bundles of wild things I've gathered from my last wandering.

Sage, pine needles, juniper sprigs, prairie grasses, all tied up in turquoise thread!

Running around in the Rawah Wilderness and traipsing along the banks of the Laramie River, I gathered up an armload of wild things. Brown and withered buffalo grass, blue grama and fescue. I stumbled on mounds of yellow grasses, snagged my sweater in deep maroon willow thickets and itty bitty burrs got in my socks. With handfuls of prairie grasses, I held them up to my nose and breathed in, like I would imagine a fox or a coyote would do, as they slink in and out of the fragile stems following the rivers edge. There is a scent to things that have gone to seed. The last of the Indian grass has faded and dried but I wrapped their sweetness up tight, not to be forgotten just because their season is over.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When I Look At The World

And then I look at the world

in all its glory
I look at the world
And it's a different story
each time I look at the world
~ Lucinda Williams


Friday, October 24, 2014

Donkeys! Pull Over!

For three whole days we got away from it all. Being in Red Feather was amazing, as it always is. We didn't see any wildlife because they were hiding from the hunters but I saw moose tracks and the scent of bobcats was nearby. Very nearby. Like, under our trailer. That doesn't bother me. Not even a little bit.

A friend of mine reminded me that 'it all seems so much more real up there in the mountains'. She's right.

At 9,000+ feet in elevation, the negative ions really work their magic. It's like any weight is promptly lifted off my shoulders when I sit in the silence and listen for the owls. The air is clean up there in the Rocky Mountains. I've not seen any sign of pollution in the Roosevelt National Forest that surrounds the Silver Moonbeam and us. That land is my refuge. That land is what I live for. Besides the Mustangs of Wyoming.

Before we had to leave, I was replacing a new garbage bag in the wastebasket of the adorable outhouse when I stopped and said to C, "You can leave me here...I'll call in sick forever."

That's how strongly I feel about living there. Off the grid. No neighbors. Just a bunch of mountains, trees and birds. And an occasional bear. All that silence. Maybe just the rustling of a rabbit in the crawling juniper.

After being coaxed in to the car, we began our journey home. We followed the back roads through the Rawah Wilderness, where moose had been introduced to the area in the 80's. They are doing extremely well. They are protected there. We took our time driving to Woods Landing, past Guest Ranches with fancy yet rustic porches and corrals of horses, and tiny chinked cabins set so picturesque on the banks of the Laramie River.

When we crossed the Colororado/Wyoming border, all of a sudden the terrain looked completely different. It really did change. All of a sudden, we could see forever. Once again.

Then we saw something neither one of us had seen before. Donkeys. Eight beautiful Donkeys on the side of the road, just waiting to have their carpet-like heads petted. And to be talked to. And to be loved. And so that's what we did for awhile. Just hanging over the fence with them. We had a real nice conversation with Donkey Boy. And Jesse, Pal, Larry and Bud.

An older Ranch friend of mine told me they sometimes use donkeys to break in colts.

Well now, you know what's on my mind, don't you? I'm going to adopt a wild colt, get me a donkey, tie them together, and we'll all live happily ever after.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Let's Go

I'm missing you, Silver Moonbeam!

I'm missing you, White~breasted Nuthatch, Woodpecker, Owl and Raven!

See you soon, The Roosevelt, the Rawah Wilderness, The Cache La Poudre River!

I hope you're well, Peaches the black bear, the families of bighorn sheep, moose, the elk, deer and bobcats!

I'm stuffing my weekender bag with long johns, mittens, wool socks and hats, fleece tops and high boots. I've got extra blankets tucked under my arm and a good book I can't wait to finish.

The bikes will go up on the racks and I'll fill the kitty bowls to the brim.

Colorado, here we come. We've neglected you this summer. Blame it on The Horses.

It's time.

And it's always better in the mountains.



Saturday, October 11, 2014

Every Which Way

…the still empty land beyond newsstands and malls and velvet restaurant ropes…

- Ian Frazier, Great Plains


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cedar Waxwing

Now that I haven't been out to see the horses lately, I don't have anything to talk about.

So, I leave you with some tail feathers I plucked from a bird, while on my early morning walk, lying dead before my feet.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Meet Prancer

They were way out there. I couldn't tell how many, but I saw mustangs in a huddle. So, I grabbed my camera and started walking out on the raw sienna colored sage flats, pleased that I wouldn't be going home without seeing a horse. I turned around as I got about halfway out and took this picture of the speck of a Subaru I'd left behind me on the side of the road.
I see you guys, and I'm coming to check you out!
The closer I get the faster my heart flutters.
Right about now, they start to recognize my presence.
They squeeze in tight and at a fast trot, they come in close to check me out!
That's when I saw him. The leader of the band. Strutting his stuff, prancing and dancing and keeping his gals in line, in perfect step.
Oh, that Stallion can prance! He lifts his front legs, his hooves curl as he paws the air, and he shakes his head, a tangle of mane covers one eye. He sizes me up, but I'm just a calm and gentle figure, with wild hair myself. I try not to stare. I nonchalantly look side to side, and I slowly crouch and kneel in the rabbitbrush. My camera clicks at the same time I greet him in a low tone. "Hey, boy." After he prances back and forth, in front of his family, blowing short deliberate puffs through his nostrils, he finally stops, rests, and all eyes are on me.
Seven beauties. In rich and shiny colors, with a dusting of prairie dirt. Like a box of oil pastels, I choose white, cream, taupe, gray, charcoal, rust and lots of black.
Seven beauties with hairdo's to die for.
We all get comfortable with each other and the sound of the shutter becomes more familiar to them, like a soft click of a metronome, keeping beat with the wind. Prancer has let down his guard somewhat, never completely, but now the line loosens up, and a mom and baby trot off on their own, a few feet away. A mostly black youngster nurses, while the others start picking through tiny clumps of green grasses and crusty tumbleweeds.
I spent the rest of the afternoon just admiring this new wild family that I found. Watching them, wondering what they think, where they'll spend the winter, and if they have a favorite place to go when the snow drifts? I wonder if they head back up the mountain, to take cover under the ponderosa pine trees? Or will their manes be braided with icicles as they stand out on this open prairie, with the unforgiving blizzards that will surely pass through.
Wild things.