Winter Youngster

January 8, 2017

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It was late into a very cold day in the Piceance-East Douglas HMA when we spotted this little cutie patootie munching on anything above the snow. He and his family looked good for the time of year. I noticed he has a perfect, tiny star whorl on his forehead. star Hope you can see it. 🙂 (12/2016)

Photos are for viewing purposes only. Most images are available online at: http://www.NickolesPhotography.com. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.

Merry Christmas 2016!

December 18, 2016

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May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through. May the meaning of the season be deeper, its friendships stronger and its hopes brighter. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas – Happy Hanukkah!

Photos are for viewing purposes only. Most images are available online at: http://www.NickolesPhotography.com. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.

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A memory from last winter’s Christmas trip to see the wild horses of the Piceance-East Douglas HMA in Colorado.

Photos are for viewing purposes only. Most images are available online at: http://www.NickolesPhotography.com. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.

Morning of day two. We realize it’s going to be really cold since the heater in our motel room can’t get to a very comfortable temperature through the entire night (they gave us a portable heater later that solved that problem).

DSCN0494-sWe bundle up little Sage since he’s 12 now. Okay, he was fine and it was for my own benefit, but doesn’t he look comfy?

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Whoa! When we get loaded up, the temperature gauge in the Jeep tells the story. We’ve been out in -27 degree weather before – Sand Wash Basin trip – but that was pretty extreme. Are we really going to do this again?

Tom was concerned. My Jeep has over 233,000 miles on it (a lot of hard, horse range miles in that count) and Tom said technically, our anti-freeze was only good to -25 degrees. He really didn’t think we should be headed out to the range unless it warmed up a little. Though I was anxious to get back to the horses, I knew he was right. We decided to putter around town and then to the outskirts a bit where we’d be near people in case we ran into any trouble.

We started up the road towards the Flat Tops Wilderness at the north edge of town. It was foggy and frosty. Beautiful conditions, but a little tough on the fingers when I got out to take pictures. 😉

DSC_0417-sThese guys have some frost on their puffy winter coats.

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I’ve never seen this before. Those are wild turkeys all hunkered down in the trees by the river. They’re covered in frost as well.

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The river is warmer than the outside temps and creates this wonderful mist that freezes on everything. Makes for some amazing scenes.

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I just had to take this picture. We were headed back to town when we ended up behind this guy. Yup, it’s dang cold out there!

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Back in town, we drive up and down the streets (it’s a small town), but not many folks are out and about. That’s a car all covered up in snow. That will be fun to dig out.

We drive by the bank with a large temperature readout that says it’s up to -24. The Jeep gauge confirms. It’s after 9:00 am (a late start for going to the range). Tom says it will probably get a little warmer as the sun continues to rise, the Jeep is running like a champ, so he decides we’re good to go.

About 40 minutes later upon reaching the HMA, we spot our first horse. He’s quite a ways off enjoying the sun as he snoozes on a hill. I bet that feels really good after a very cold night.

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There are animal tracks everywhere. So fun to follow them to where the critters live and hide out.

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I darkened this image so that you can follow the tracks more easily.

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The scenery is just so pretty with all the snow.

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Topping a hill and turning onto the Pinto Mesa road, we spot this lone bachelor stallion. I think we stayed with him at least 45 minutes. He wasn’t bothered by us and I took a ton of photos (and some video – bonus at the end of this post). He looks very healthy.

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It’s amazing what they can get by on as forage.

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A little back story. As I was going through these photos and sharing, another gal that documents the Piceance Creek horses mentioned that she thought this stallion might be the little colt that Tom and I had found separated from its momma back in July of 2012. I pulled up those old photos, she sent one from April of 2013 and I compared both to my current images. Indeed, this was the same horse right down to the little notch out of the right ear and in the same location where we had spotted him as a baby. I told her it was like deja vu (minus the scary situation), so he is now known as “Deja Vu.” It was wonderful to see what a beautiful horse he’s grown into.

DSC_2845-sDeja Vu as we found him one early morning in July of 2012.

DSC_2848a-sDeja Vu with his dam. You can see that they are separated by the HMA fence line.

DSC_2866-sThis is the stallion that was with them. Can’t say for sure that he’s the sire, but both parents were pretty worried about the little guy on the wrong side of the fence.

DSC_2869-sThe dam again – she has 2 blue eyes. Deja Vu has very light colored brown eyes, not like many I’ve seen. Unique and beautiful.

DSC_2879-sI kept my distance because the youngster would charge the fence trying to get back over to the other side. His little chest was getting scraped up.

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I did call in the situation to the BLM Range Specialist and she checked it out right away. Luckily, they had somehow reunited and I never saw any of them again, until this trip. I just love a happy ending! 🙂

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A short video can be viewed here:

https://youtu.be/xsaGmy5OZnY

Part 1 of our Winter Trip: https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/christmaswinter-piceance-creek-hma/

Photos are for viewing purposes only. Most images are available online at: http://www.NickolesPhotography.com. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.

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This is the band stallion “Guy” from the Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA, Colorado. When I took this picture, the temperature was right around 9 degrees. That is his breath that is swirling around him in the photo. Frosty!!

Photos are for viewing purposes only. Most images are available online at: http://www.NickolesPhotography.com. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.

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