Piceance Creek HMA, 3-2011 (Day 2)

April 17, 2011

Sunday was still cool, overcast and windy, (I hate the wind) but wind can dry out roads, so we were hopeful we might have better access. We drove to where we had started the day before hoping to see some of the same horses again.

Our first sighting was a group of deer. Hard not to notice them. Look at the collars those little guys are wearing! Can’t say I’ve ever seen any like them before.

(Click on the images for larger/sharper views)

These collars are hard to miss!

A safe distance from the deer with no horses in sight, we found a dry place to park and let the dogs out to play.

Little Sage (aka Sagey)

This photo cracks me up - Sage stalking Brihten. They are so much fun.

They are absolutely no trouble to travel with. They love to go and are perfectly behaved wherever we take them.

We decided to try one of the dirt roads that appeared a bit drier than it had the previous day. We hadn’t gone too far when we spotted our first group of horses.

They glowed in the little bit of morning sunshine that managed to poke through the clouds.

They are so intent on grazing, they don’t even notice me.

I've been spotted.

The band stallion

Of the bands we found on this trip, this group was the leanest. Not bad considering the winter we had.

More horses!

Young stud

This is the band stallion. Kind of a small guy, but I like his look.

He paces a bit, but doesn’t go far.

The youngster goes to him for some reassurance.

Persistent little bugger. The stallion isn't distracted and keeps his attention focused on me.

The lovely mare of the group

Pretty girl

What a flirt - he winked at me! 🙂

The youngster

Tom is proud of this photo. He snuck up on me and got a horse in the background too. HA!

The road is good enough that we can continue a little further. We find another band of horses.

The gray is the stallion

Another looker

This was a much spookier bunch and they didn’t allow me to get very close before they moved off. I didn’t want to cause them any stress, so I didn’t try to follow them.

We were at the end of the road. There was too much mud to continue so we turned around. On our return trip, the group of three had made their way right down to the road. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so I got out and took a few more shots.

It was very satisfying to see that their experience with me left them comfortable enough to concentrate on feeding.

He's still alert though.

So good to see the grass coming up

After we got back on the main road, Tom followed a “hunch” and turned down a dirt road that we’d never been on. It was south facing and in pretty decent shape. Good job Tommy – horses!

Good looking stallion

Another youngster

And the mare

Love the view

This must be an experienced stallion who really knows the territory. He and his family appear to have wintered quite well.

Family portrait

Time for a puppy break!

Sagey is so darn cute. He loves to roll in the snow!

My guys. 🙂

We decided to check on the young Mustangs in the rancher’s pasture one more time before leaving. The filly is probably going to be pretty easy to train. When she sees us, she heads our way. She’s curious and has a very sweet/kind look to her.

The little stud is pretty full of himself and might be more of a challenge. 🙂

She's a beauty

But I like this little guy too

Once again, while we were visiting with the horses, the rancher drove up. There we stood on the side of the road just chatting away as the wind whipped at us. I had to tighten down the stampede strings on my hat to keep it from sailing right off my head! Obviously, we really enjoyed exchanging thoughts and ideas with this man so we made plans to meet again the next time Tom and I were up.

We stayed longer than we had anticipated we would, but it worked out well for us. Somehow, we missed the usual ski traffic on I-70 and breezed right on down the highway. What a welcome surprise. As we came out of the foothills into Golden, we could see all kinds of smoke. We knew something was up as there was a detour notice on I-70. Wow – this fire was close to town!

While the mountains may have gotten lots of snow, the Front Range and other locations within Colorado (as well as other states) have suffered one of the driest winters on record. Since this fire (which took a week to control), there have been several more. I’ve read that this has been the earliest start to the fire season – and most of the fires were started at the hands of a human. Certainly cause to be extra aware and careful in the outdoors right now.

Day one post: https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/piceance-creek-hma-3-2011-day-1/

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13 Responses to “Piceance Creek HMA, 3-2011 (Day 2)”

  1. Linda Says:

    Minus the fire I SO enjoy your weekend trips. You know I live vicariously thru you Tom and the pups.. Need my horse fix since I can’t do it myself ever again..sigh..Damn asthma

  2. zhenne wood Says:

    Hi Pam, I thoroughly enjoyed this narrative and the beautiful glimpses of these magnificent horses individually and with their families! Also the “puppy breaks” – Sagey is so cute rolling in the snow, and what a great picture of you with camera in hand and horse in the background that Tom got…good reason to be proud of that one! Would be a great profile picture! Thank you, and best regards, Zhenne Wood



  4. Lori Schmidt Says:

    Wonderful as always Pam, so envious. I share your dislike of the wind. Also envious of your wonderful “band of boys”. Tom wouldnt have a single twin brother would he LOL!!!!

  5. celeste Says:

    Thank you for sharing your adventure of finding the horses as they roam. It is wonderful to see your photos and reports of how they are doing. Thanks!

  6. Maggie Frazier Says:

    Great photos – had to be scary for anyone living that close to those fires. If only our weather was a little more even – we’ve had the snowiest winter in a long time – actually like it used to be, and it looks like a very wet spring – wish I could send some of this rain out there.
    The horses look great – even the ones who are a little thinner are what we would call fit! And I’m sure they are.
    Just picked up a new chocolate lab mix – my old dog had to be put to sleep 2 months ago. She has been at a rescue – was very abused -will take a while to make her feel safe. My old boy used to love to roll in the snow, too.
    Thanks for taking me out there

  7. Shelva Wood Says:

    Pamela: I so envy your life & how you guys are so together. Dogs are unbelievable, & what can be said about the HORSES!!!!! AWESOME, BEYOND BEAUTIFUL, WHAT A TREAT FOR YOU GUYS THAT YOU CAN JUST RIDE OUT ON A DAY & SEE THIS MANY… THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR JOURNEYS WITH ALL OF US THAT CAN”T DO IT!!!!!!!!

  8. Katrine Pett Says:

    “Thankyou Pam-a great photo diary something wonderful to treasure!”

  9. Darcy Says:

    Pam as usual wonderful shots & it is so nice to see you & Tom in the images also :)…you two look great & what cute pups you have!

  10. Karen Says:

    the horse are just gorgeous…their beauty and not their spirits are captured for all of us to see…

  11. pnickoles Says:

    I can’t believe I didn’t respond to comments on this post! Where is my head?! The days just go by so quickly anymore. Apologies!!

    Linda – you know I feel very badly for you dealing with your asthma. I will continue to share our travels so you can “live” them with us. 🙂

    Zhenne – Sagey really is the cutest little guy. I enjoy it when the weather is cool enough that they can go with us. And I was shocked when I saw a camera in Tom’s hands so I just had to post the photo! 🙂

    Thanks Shirley – I thought the horses looked pretty good for such a tough winter.

    HA Lori, you’re so funny. Sorry, no, Tom doesn’t have a twin brother (and you’re not the first to ask either!). Two brothers, but neither is single.

  12. pnickoles Says:

    Thanks for writing Celeste. More adventures coming up this summer! 🙂

    Sorry to hear about your 4-legged family member Maggie. I know how hard it is to lose them. Wonderful that you’ve given another pup a chance at a good life.

    Hi Shelva – thanks for your kind words. I’m grateful for the life we lead and the things we get to see (and share). We work hard so we can play hard. 🙂

    Thanks as always Katrine. 🙂

    Hey Darcy! When are you going to come see the wild ones out here? Would love to take you…

    Looking forward to seeing you this summer Karen!

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