Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: To Another Red, I Miss You Still

It's been several years. You still own my heart, are still very missed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

One Year Ago: The Dance

My friend Jessica had just finished a natural hoof care course of study and she trimmed Red. I loved watching her work, it reminded me of a dance - the natural hoofcare ballet.

Red stands absolutely relaxed when his hoofs are trimmed. He used to fight, rearing and kicking, when I had him in shoes. It was frightening. As he came to trust me, he would stand (carrots helped) still, but not calm. He remained very tense. I'm glad I listened.

While I trim both my horses, I can't recommend Jessica enough. She has an amazing eye for balance and an affinity for horses.

My camera is broken, I can't find my old one, and I'm in my poorest time of the year. This means serious picture taking withdrawls. I've got to try to borrow a camera until pay day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lyra Runs to Me

Tonight I called Red and as usual he started right for me. It was almost dark and I couldn't see any other horses. As Red got closer I could hear the hoof beats of a horse galloping in our direction. Out of the dark appeared Lyra, determined to join us for dinner. Lyra, who once took 45 minutes to catch. She likes to stand with her head next to me, eyes closed while I gently trace small circles on the pressure points under her eyes. She makes little sighs of contentment. Lyra is happy and has become a confident, secure horse. I am so moved by this lovely mare, whose grace and sweetness survived years of neglect.

As we move into our fall routines, my little herd and I take pleasure and comfort from one another. This will be my fourth winter with Red, my second with Lyra. We have developed our rituals and each do our part to move from field to barn where they wait eagerly yet calmly while I mix their dinner. I am so grateful for these two horses, and their gifts of relationship. Rain is coming, the darkness is lengthening, and I'm looking forward to sharing the chill evenings of fall and winter with my horses and friends in the Redwood Barn.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Goodby Patrick.

Thank you for sharing your enormous talent. Thank you for the dance.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Better Off in Captivity?

I have to confess my ignorance. Of the many causes and issues I try to stay current on, and participate in, mustang welfare and advocacy was not in the top ten. Life is full, I am busy. The recent media attention on the BLM round up of Pryor Mountain Mustangs caught my attention. On several levels. Yeah, emotional - images of healthy Pryor Mountain horses that have been made so visible through the Cloud Videos sure conflicted with any rationale for human intervention to "manage" the herd at this time. I was moved, and I was pissed. On other levels, my intellectual curiosity was intensely engaged - what was that undercurrent about uranium mines recently sold in the Pryors? What about all the "not starving" cattle grazing on public land? And what about the 33,000 plus mustangs already filling the BLM gulag?

I cannot adopt a mustang. My responsible horse ownership is limited to Red and Lyra. I can donate a small amount of money. But to who? For what? I sure can write - but again, to who and about what? A recent popular blog suggested that the ruckus about the Pryor Mountain was much ado about nothing - it happens all the time and after all, captured mustangs are better off in captivity. Are they? Again, I confess my ignorance. And since I dont' have alot of tolerance for ignorance, I am racing to transform my level of information when it comes to the issue of how the BLM manages our wild horse herds and the bigger picture of how they manage our public lands. What is their multi-use policy and who decides the criteria for which competing "multiple use" interests get consideration and ultimately policy decisions that champion their cause.

For now, four things:

1. Wild Horse Adoption Day is September 26th. The horses could use all the publicity they can get.
2. The upcoming meeting of the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is on September 28th in Arlington, Virginia. Read more about it by clicking here.
3. If you chose to increase your own education regarding the complex issues that shape the existence of our wild horse herds, here is a pretty amazing resource where laws, policies, and statistics are already gathered and available for your reading. The site is "Save Our Wild Horses." Please ignore the annoying hoof beats audio, there is some good stuff here. This link will take you to info on BLM policies related to mustang management. Once there, click on "BLM" in the menu bar for laws, statistics, etc.
4. Are mustangs better off in captivity? Perhaps those lucky few who are adopted into homes with the skill and resources to provide for them. The others? I think not. The following video may be more emotion provoking hyperbole, yet I think it offers images and information to challenge both our hearts and minds.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Skywatch Friday - Season 4 Episode 9

Skywatch Friday: The Sky Watches Over Duluwat Island in Humboldt Bay

This island is sacred to the Wiyot Tribe of Humboldt Bay. The first photo shows an egret rookery. When the egrets are nesting, the trees are covered with the lovely white birds. The next two photos show an old building that was once a baptist church, built after the island was stolen from the Wiyot. The island's colonized name is "Indian Island." Here is a link that tells the story of the troubled history of this beautiful place.

The sky watches over all that happens on our earth. Please visit Skywatch Friday to see skies from many lands.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

To Ease My Heart: Cloud Goes Home

If BLM's actions in the Pryor Moutains touched you, moved you, caused you grief, there is still work to be done. Some suggested actions from Grey Horse Matters:

  • Ask that the older horses slated for removal be released.
  • Ask that this herd be not taken below 150 adult animals to maintain their genetic viability
  • Ask for increased scrutiny of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. Our wild horses and burros need immediate change
Take Action: Please call President Obama now: 202-456-1111 (or 202-456-9000)and an end to their mismanagement.

After today's disappointing and discouraging post on Fugly, I thought I'd end the day with some images to lift my heart. May they lift yours as well.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Decimation of Pryor Mtn. Mustangs: Hidden Agenda? Uranium?

Here is a google map depicting the location of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.
(please click on all images to enlarge so you can read them)

The next series of maps show the locations of five uranium mines in the Pryor Mountains. These mines were recently purchased by FORTRESS FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. as part of their "25 Uranium Mining & Exploration Projects in Idaho, Northern Arizona, Utah and in Montana." source: Venture Returns, Fortress Financial Group Inc/Skyline Uranium Corporation

The Swamp Frog Mine

The Sandra Mine

The Old Glory Mine

The Marie Mine

The Dandy Mine

In 2007 the Federal Government posted a Schedule of Proposed Action for the Pryor Mountain Abandoned Uranium Mine Reclamation Project with the goal of reclaiming the abandoned Sandra & Old Glory uranium mines to: 1)reduce human health and safety concerns; and 2) reclaim and restore previously disturbed mine sites.

source: Schedule of Proposed Actions (SOPA) 10/01/2007 to 12/31/2007 Custer National Forest

These were two of the mine purchased by the Fortress Financial Group. Nice of our government to spiff those raggedy ole mines up for their nice corporate customers. Wonder what this action cost?

OK - A major uranium mine reclamation project is planned for five mines within less than 15 miles of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. Between 2004-07 the price of uranium skyrocketed to $140 per lb. and them plummeted to its current $45 per lb. source: Uranium Miner

In another world, far, far away, there are rumors that uranium will once again ralley in price. source: Seeking Alpha

You don't think . . . NO, I am just being paranoid and suspicious. Because the BLM would NEVER have a hidden agenda like reducing the size of the Pryor Mountain Mustang herd just in case . . . no. Couldn't happen here, or could it?

Now that you have taken in the visuals, please read this article - The BLM, Uranium, and the Pryor Mountains by Jerry Finch, President of Habitat for Horses, R. T. Finch, Board Member of Habitat for Horses. Makes ya wonder. . .

Additional Internet Sources

Abandoned Mine Lands

Marketwire: Fortress Financial Group: Acquisition and Stock Buybacks

Montana Mines

Reuters: Key Developments for Fortress Finacial Group, Inc.

BLM Captures Cloud

Cloud has been captured.
What is the point?

Please visit The Cloud Foundation and their new blog for
updates of the continuing desecration.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back to School and I Have a Cold!

Gonna try to keep my whining to a minimum.I see others in the blogverse down and out with fall maladies. Three years ago I started getting every bug that came at me. This continued for two years until I found my vitamin D was severely deficient. Vitamin D supplements were life changing. Last year was so much better - more energy, better focus, increased immune system. I want to continue to build my immune system to super hero capacities. Bit discouraged that after 5 days at work, I'm down and out. So . . . coming soon, my Immune Booster Plan.

(Photo is of Steamer, part of the general pasture herd.
He is perfectly healthy, just enjoying a nap in the sun.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sunday Stills: The Rule of Thirds

Not sure that I've quite got it right but welcome to the Sunday Stills Challenge. Today we were given "the rule of thirds" as the challenge. Imagine that the image is cut into nine section by two evenly spaced vertical and two horizontal lines. For greater drama and impact, the rule of thirds suggests that objects be placed on the lines or the intersection of the lines. Visit these great blogs to learn more about this challenge.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Full Moon

This rather dark and unclear photo was taken last night as I walked with my horse Red through a field toward his herd. I was taken with the full moon and the thought that its light was also shining on the bands of Pryor Mountain mustangs that are being "culled" by the Bureau of Land Management, part of the US Department of the Interior responsible for large tracts of land in the United States. Despite pleas for wild horse advocates and a passionate letter from a Congressmen, the "round-up started today. If you are interested in reading more about this particular band of mustangs, brought to international attention through a series of videos about one of the stallions, Cloud, visit the following links:

Wild Horse Public Service Announcement
The Cloud Foundation
Grey Horse Matters: Update on Cloud's Herd
Horse Centric: The Plan to Kill Off the Mustangs
American Mustang Foundation

For more pictures of skies across the world, visit Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pryor Moutain Mustang Action Alert

1. Contact BLM Director Bob Abbey Call: 202-208-3801 or 866-468-7826 Fax: 202-208-5242; email
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2. Ask Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to stop this round up.
Call: 202-208-3100

3. Call/write/fax President Obama as often as you can—this herd is a national treasure and should not be wiped out by a government agency. Please flood the phone lines with calls! Phone: 202-456-1111 or 202-456-9000 Fax: 202-456-2461
E-mail Obama

The Pryor Mountain roundup has been delayed for two days to allow Judge Sullivan of the Federal District Court to hear the case brought against the BLM by The Cloud Foundation and Front Range Equine Rescue.

Please read Arizona Congressman Grivalja's letter to BML Director Bob Abbey. It articulates key concerns with the BLM Mustang Management Decimation Plan. Click HERE to read the Senator's letter.

Congressman Grivalja is the Chair of the Subcommittee of National Parks, Forrests, and Public Lands. To thank and encourage him, call or fax him at (202) 225-2435,fax (202) 225-1541. You can also connect with him through Facebook.

For more information:

Grey Horse Matters
Wild Horse Warriors
The Cloud Foundation