Friday, August 24, 2012

Artsy Fartsy Friday Runs Wild with Mustangs

On Wednesday I wrote about George Washington, who was an avid horseman and dog lover. Fitting traits as the symbolic father of a country in which many people have pets and most espouse a love of animals. For Artsy Fartsy Friday this week, I'm simply posting a few of my many photos of wild mustangs.

A year ago we were living in Reno, Nevada, and one of my favorite places to hike was the Washoe County Regional Park at Hidden Valley. This park abuts public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, where wild horses live. I won't go into the politics of mustang management here, but urge you to learn more about efforts to both save and destroy the herds grazing on OUR land. The BLM doesn't own the land it manages, nor do the ranchers who want the horses removed to make room for their stock. We do. You and I.

For now, though, I will simply show you some of my friends, members of a small band that is part of the larger Virginia Range Herd. I saw these horses almost every time I went to hike at Hidden Valley, and often they came very close to me. One in particular always came to see me up close and very personal when the band was close to where I was. Other times they were grazing far up the hills, but their presence, close or far away, was always thrilling.

This yearling filly almost always came to see me when I went to Hidden Valley, and loved to be scratched and petted. I like to think she knew this was our last (for now) evening together. ©Sheila Boneham

Another shot of "my" filly, who I think of as Star. This is a wild and wild-born horse, remember. You can see from her interaction with my husband Roger how much she likes contact with people. ©Sheila Boneham

The stallion of the band. I took this on my final visit to Hidden Valley. We were supposed to leave that morning but had a scheduling "thing" with the mover, so Roger and I took advantage of the day for one last visit to "my" mustangs.  This was the first and only time the stallion ever came this close. He stood like this for about 20 minutes, just out of reach but obviously too close really for my telephoto lens. Very unusual encounter with him. Thank you, handsome. ©Sheila Boneham

Mare and foal. ©Sheila Boneham

The little guy! ©Sheila Boneham

Mares and foals heading over the hill and into the canyon for the night. ©Sheila Boneham

The stallion again. He was far up the hill, following his mares and foals to the canyon for the night, but he's so handsome I had to crop in on him. ©Sheila Boneham

My last view of the stallion, following his family. ©Sheila Boneham

This post first ran in June. I'm still on my "blog break" while I finish the sequel to Drop Dead on Recall, which will be out in October. New posts resume September 3, but I hope you'll come back next week for more summer reruns. Enjoy the last days of summer 2012!  - Sheila