location: steens mountain
backstory: this is from one of my first adventures into the steens mountain area. friends had mentioned herds of wild horses in the area and i was curious to see them in their natural range.
it had been a very cold and snowy winter. this was the first truly warm spring day and the desert enthusiastically responded. snow melt provided moist earth for plants to absorb. a warm sage filled breeze gently blew. the sky cleared it's winter dull gray, sunlight was brighter and noticeably warmer. and the mares with new colts were taking it all in.
exploring this area throughout the seasons has given me a great appreciation for creatures, plants and trees that live here. summer is brutally hot; winter bone chilling cold, windy and deep snow. fall can be lovely, although often short as winter comes early. spring is a time to pause a moment, kick back and enjoy before the cycle begins again.
one of the joys of spring in the open high desert is being able to see deer, pronghorn, elk, coyote and horses with their spring-new kids. often only days old, these spring critters signal that seasonal rebirth of creatures and land. the sparse, barren landscape provides a stark contrast background for these bouncing, jumping, wide-eyed, amazed-at-each-moment new arrivals. it is a reminder that we too, are a part of this cycle. i could feel it strongly on this day.
it takes some strength and tough to survive out here. these horses have it. while technically not wild (see on wild horses) they've adapted, learned to live and thrive out here. as a newcomer to the region and climate, watching these horses through the seasons has been inspiring. i've picked up a little tough in the process, which has been useful in challenging conditions, not just out in the desert backcountry.
awarded grand champion (best in show) grant county fair 2017