Dreamy darlin herself, Miss Luna, leads the evening's cast of characters. Some evenings find the mustangs on top of a low line of hills that gives them good views in all directions - and yummy native grasses like alkali sacaton, grama and galleta. I love to hang out with them up there, soaking in the last warm rays of the sunshine ... especially during these perfect fall days that are getting shorter all the time.
Our very awesome Western Colorado Conservation Corps crew has done an enormous job once again, cutting and spraying tamarisk from along a section of Disappointment Creek. This will help bring back the native vegetation that can feed and shelter our wildlife.
These photos were from their middle week. All the tamarisk in the background of this photo made its way into slash piles by the end of the crew's third hitch!
We are so proud of these hard-working young women and men! And we're grateful to be part of this beneficial partnership for our land and wildlife!
Our Western Colorado Conservation Corps crew was back in Disappointment Valley for more work (pix to come!), and they got to visit once more with Gideon's ambassador band.
These photos were from their second hitch, in mid-September. The big mare band was in a remote area of the ranch and "unavailable" for visitor interaction. Like any visit to see wild horses, sometimes you see them, and sometimes you don't.
The crew's third hitch (it took me a while to get these second-hitch photos posted) was cooler and wetter than their previous hitches. It rained the day they were supposed to visit with the mustangs. We can't be upset about the good fall rain!
Because we CAN achieve world peace ... even if just in our own little corner(s) of the beautiful world.
For the third year, a crew of hard-working young folks with Western Colorado Conservation Corps, based in Grand Junction, is working on the ranch, cutting and spraying tamarisk - also known as salt cedar - along Disappointment Creek.
According to Wikipedia, "Tamarix ramosissima has naturalized and become a major invasive plant species in parts of the world, such as in the Southwestern United States and Desert Region of California, consuming large amounts of groundwater in riparian and oases habitats due to the density of its stands. The balance and strength of the native flora and fauna are being restored by tamarisk eradication projects using a combination of methods, including manual stem cutting followed by the application of herbicide to the stump, and burning stands of tamarisk, with subsequent low-volume herbicide application to resprouts."
And that's exactly what our WCCC crews are doing at our Disappointment Valley Mustang Sanctuary.
As part of our thanks, we encourage the crew members to take a break during each hitch to visit our mustangs. We think the horses enjoy the visits (and the treats!) as much as the humans!
Big thanks to Jess, Elena, Alison, Brighton, Eli, Elliott, Ethan, Hunter, Justin and Ryan for your work last week and your work to come!
A curtain of rain falls across the La Sal Mountains during sunset. What a beautiful world we live in.
Miss Elamae pauses while grazing under the setting sun at our sanctuary in Disappointment Valley.
What a magical evening!
Mother Nature has brought monsoons to Disappointment Valley for the first time in two years, and we are incredibly grateful. The range is green, and the mustangs are fat. In the photo above, Luna and Baylee graze under a cloudy, almost-sunset sky while rain falls in the distance along the La Sal Mountains in Utah.
Angeni is full, so she naps while Mahogany grazes nearby. Those ridges are to the southeast of the sanctuary.
Handsome Blanco glows in the light while he grazes on fresh-grown grass.
Jif has a fabulous view of the La Sal Mountains while she grazes. This direction is looking northwest from the sanctuary, across lower Disappointment Valley.
And Miss Snow looks across Disappointment Creek (out of this image to the south) at another band on the sanctuary.
We are loving the rain, the cooler temperatures and, most of all, the gift of growing grass in the high desert.
As the sun slid down the sky toward the horizon, the mustangs climbed to the top of the flat-topped mesa.
For a bit of perspective, this image shows the base of the mesa and the road that runs across the ranch to Spring Creek Basin.
The view from the top is amazing. The view of the mustangs ON the top is sublime. :)