Saturday, June 25, 2011

(2011.JUN.17) - SouthEastern Butte Mountain Bands

(2011.JUN.17) -  The wild bands inhabiting the eastern slopes of Butte Mountain are nearly impossible to get close to, on the ground. They graze in the open cleared areas, and shelter in the dense juniper and pinon forests above that. The old road is barely visible in places, and is littered with the corpses of long-dead tree stumps.

 Most often, I see clouds of dust, and hear them interacting with one another, vocally, and physically.
Butte Mountain - 2011.JUN.17

These horses  are most often observed in late afternoon, as they make their way across a narrow valley and up to the spring at Horse Canyon.  They are extremely shy, and will scatter at the least disturbance to their quiet environment -- which they share seasonally with an abundance of elk, a few deer and pronghorn antelope, and periodically, transitting sheep. Cattle are fed and watered in a broad area where crested wheat grows in abundance. I see the horses along the edges of this area, occasionally, but apparently they are not interested in the wheat grass.

Butte Mountain, Nevada

Based on glimpses and physical evidence in the form of scat, trails, and rising dust, I estimate there are 50-60 wild horses in the main herd.

This is a  diverse population, with a wide assortment of colors, including rare sabino roans, duns and buckskins, as well as many bays and blacks.

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