As we made our way past Big Spring a Peruvian sheep herder who was camped near the spring stopped us. He seemed upset about what we understood to be 15 sheep and 3 black dogs that were missing, but we really couldn't understand him very well. We said we would look, so we kept an eye open for his animals as we proceeded toward Painters Flat. We saw no sign of them.
On the way down into the flat we came upon a road grader by the side of the road. Operating the machine was a range rider for the BLM, he was working on the road to make it smoother for truck and trailer travel. Another load of dirt was on its way, being hauled in from Ravendale, to cover the rocky ground. He said they would be hauling Mustangs out that way during the roundup so they were fixing the rough spots to make their travel easier. He pointed out to us where some of the wildlife was and we continued on our way.
We made it... Painters Flat.
|We saw one lone horse right away.|
|Then some Antelope.|
At a watering hole were cows so I took some pictures of them while we decided which raod to take. In the distance we could see dust clouds but couldn't see what was causing them. Through the binoculars it was clear there was a large herd of horses coming our way. It was estimated they were 2 to 21/2 miles away. We watched as they approached carefully but quickly, some times at a trot, then canter, then they would stop to look around, then move on again.
There they are way in the distance.
|Another band up on the hill side above the Junipers.|
|A beautiful Bay Stallion leading them in.|
|Check it out... this Stallion has a male Mule acting like a "lieutenant".|
|The Mule was obviously second in command helping guide the herd.|
|Wow he is gorgeous!|
|The Mule, eyes and ears, keeping lookout.|
|Time to go.|
|Stallion looks back toward the other herd on the hill...|
|then at us...|
|then at something else coming...|
|that sent them all running.|
|The road grader.|
|To dig up the road and reinstall or cover an exposed culvert next to the water hole.|
|There they go. |
Total time at water hole was less than 4 minutes.
So we headed out too.