April 28, 2008 – Lower Sykes Ridge

I had a little time on the evening of the 28th, so I decided to go see if Admiral’s mare had foaled yet. I went out there and hiked all over the area that I’ve been seeing them out for all of my past trips. Try as I might, I could not find them. The only thing in the area were about 30 deer in about 6 groups. I figured they were in a drainage I didn’t see or something, so I headed back.

As I topped the final hill before arriving at my Jeep, I heard the sound of running horses. I grabbed my camera and scanned, and then I saw Admiral’s family running toward me. I figure a bachelor must have agitated them out of wherever they had been.

Admiral\'s family

I think these are the kinds of pictures most associated with wild horses. Truth be told, I’ve only seen this dust-and-tails flying kind of thing a few times; so this was pretty exciting to watch and photograph.

Admiral\'s family

They didn’t see me sitting on that hill, and they just kept running right past me.

Admiral\'s family

I’m sure you’ve figured it out now, but there wasn’t any new foal yet. Soon though!

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Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

April 22, 2008 – Bighorn Canyon

On the 22nd, I headed back out to the canyon to see if I could figure out the sex of Seattle’s new foal. On the way out, we had a really nice surprise – Blizzard was visible. Right now, this is one of the more elusive of the Dryhead families; and so it is always special to get to see them.

Blizzard

The past few times that they’ve been seen, the grulla roan mare Strawberry hasn’t been with them or with anyone else. However, she was back this time. Strawberry is a pretty independent mare, and this isn’t the first time she has gone off by herself like this.

Strawberry

Sacajawea was further up on a hill. She almost looks pregnant, but it’s hard to tell from that distance.

Sacajawea

Sacajawea and Merlin’s 2007 colt is really good looking. He has great stripes and a two tone mane. He does look a little funny now as he has a big black patch on his face.

Hidatsa

Seattle’s family was pretty far up, and so I didn’t get much time with them before it got too dark. Thus, I still am not sure of the sex of that foal. I am still a little hesitant to try too hard as the family is already a little touchy as it is, and so I don’t think it will hurt to be a patient for just a little longer.

Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

April 20, 2008 – Bighorn Canyon

On the 20th, I wanted to see if Seattle’s mare had foaled yet. The day started out cool and cloudy, and we spotted the family upon arriving on the flats. I also saw that she had indeed foaled through my binoculars. We started walking out to them, and then it started to snow.

Seattle, Hawk, Cascade

We hid behind some junipers watching this beautiful new foal. It’s totally black, just like Seattle.

Bakken and Issaquah

We didn’t spend too much time there as we didn’t want to accidentally stress the foal out any more. I am fairly sure it had been born the evening before or early the morning of this day, so this was not a fun first day of life for it. Because of the time constraint, and the visibility from the snow, I couldn’t determine for certain if it was male or female. I am pretty sure it is a filly, but I couldn’t verify that.

Issaquah and Bakken

This was the beginning of what would actually be a pretty big snowstorm in the Bighorn Basin. However, I wasn’t too concerned with the foal surviving it. With the three mares, three offspring, and Seattle, I knew she would be kept plenty warm and sheltered.

Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

April 19, 2008 – Sykes Ridge

I spent a pretty good amount of time walking around Sykes Ridge on the 19th. The first horses I found while hiking were Admiral’s family. Still no new foal, but it was still nice to see them. Admiral grazed down low while the filly and her mother grazed on a hillslope.

Admiral

Ghost Dancer

Seneca

As I walked back from them, I saw that the bachelor Starbuck had wandered into the area too. (As a point of interest, Starbuck is the father of the above dun mare with Admiral.)

Starbuck

As I continued up, I spotted Bristol and his filly out a way. I decided to walk out to them as it’d been a while since I’d seen them up close. I was a little curious if the filly was showing any signs of pregnancy.

Bristol looks the same as usual, and he lives in an area that no other horses do. He may not be too strong, but I think he is smart enough to know where he has the best chance of keeping his filly.

Bristol

I don’t think the filly really looks pregnant, and she is still a little young. I have heard of cases in the wild where horses have foaled at her age (2 years).

Greta

I don’t often mention them here, but I really do see a lot of deer on my trips. I estimate I see anywhere from 15 to 30 on each trip to the Pryors, depending on where I am going. I usually see quite a few as I head up Sykes. These are mule deer. Only once have I ever seen a white tail on the range, and she was just barely in it. These deer were walking around in the mountain mahogany, and they were eating it.

Deer

Deer

Bighorn sheep also eat the mahogany, but I didn’t see any around this day. I did see plenty of places they had been in recently further up, though.

Corona’s family was just on the other side of the hill from the deer. It was just the second time I’d seen this 2008 foal.

Corona

Icara and Waif

My goal for the day was to get as high onto Sykes as I could, at least to the Sykes catchment area. I did make it there, but I didn’t stay long as there was a storm moving in. The only horse I saw close on Sykes was the bachelor Flint (Blue Moon). I also saw Morning Star and Coronado’s families from a distance.

Flint

We headed back before the storm hit. On the way down, I took this picture: (You can click it for a larger version.)

Mustang Flats

This is what Mustang Flats looks like from above. I’ve posted some pictures before showing horses on the face of the mountain headed up; this is near where they come up. You can also see Highway 37 and Bighorn Canyon in the picture. Those are the Bighorn Mountains in the background.

Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment