September 18, 2010

A Sheepish Boss

At the beginning of our ride, we have distant views of the Wasatch Range.  Notice how fresh and alert Daisy looks.  She knows big excitement is coming.
We start riding down into Buffalo Canyon: 
At the lower reaches, we travel along a trail with bike tracks.  We don't see any bikers, but we do see a bow hunter, which makes me glad I am wearing orange. 
I am riding Boss, giving Mischief a rest. 
We encounter a herd of sheep:
Notice how Daisy is crouched down, trying to sneak up on them.  You may be able to see a mounted sheepherder on the left side of the photo.  Steve talks to two of the herders, communicating through his limited Spanish and their limited English.  The herders are from Peru. 
Boss, unfortunately, is terrified of sheep.  Yes, I know this makes no sense.  He's a big strong horse, but the baaa-ing turns him into a nervous wreck.  Or maybe it's the sheep scent that drives him nutty.  Whatever the reason, it is a challenge to ride him through the sheep and on down the trail to Willow Creek: 
This beaver dam appears to be active.  We ride down the creek until we came to some nice pools.
There, Steve wants to fish.  We get off and tie the horses for safekeeping, but about that time a dozen or so sheep appear on the mountainside and begin their baaa-ing routine. 
Boss is not a happy camper.  He pulls hard on his rope and dances around the trees.  When he can't escape, he hides in the brush as well as he can.  The sheep don't attack him.  I don't think they even notice him. 
Steve, undeterred, catches a few cutthroat trout.  This trout and the others in the stream are paler than most cutthroats we see.  Maybe they've evolved that way because the stream bottom is very light-colored in Willow Creek.
The aspens are golden in some places, and green in others:
We will have to wait another week or so for the maximum gold in the mountains.


  1. Oh what a lovely ride you took us on, Janie. I love the way Daisy crouches down trying to creep up on the sheep. And that dear Boss is afraid of the sheep. Great trip with you. Thanks for visiting my blog, it's always good to see you. Greetings from Jo.

  2. Janie, I loved riding with you this AM while I'm waiting to go for brunch in Denver! Either Boss looks very big in that photo or you look very small. Poor Boss - sometimes I'm unnerved by the small things, too - who knows why? I love the color of Willow Creek - a pastel like a watercolor painting.

  3. Poor Boss! I smiled at the thought of such a big horse trying to hide.
    The cutthroat trout is very pretty. Is that full-grown? I only know rainbow trout and brown trout.

  4. Great ride. I think you are right about the trout. I see that here too. They will adapt to the river bed bottom to blend in.

  5. What an adventure. The whole sheep and sheep herder thing is interesting to me. On my uncle's ranch in Idaho he has had to share Forest Service grazing leases from time to with sheep. It makes for an uneasy peace.

    That is a nice trout.

  6. Who'd have though a Big Brave horse like Boss would be afraid of sheep. ;)

  7. Hi Janie, I love going on your rides with you. Poor Boss---those sheep need to leave him alone!!!! ha

    Love your header ---and can't wait to see more of the golden Aspens.

    Beautiful ride... The views and scenery are fabulous. Nice trout also.

  8. Rooster does that when he's getting ready to pounce on the other funny...natural instinct for a herding dog...great photos...

  9. What fun! And wish I could have been there with my flyrod for those "pale" cutthroats.

  10. Very nice post. Hard to imagine why a horse would be spooked about sheep. And I loved the dog sneaking up on them.

  11. I think the aspen are already very beautiful. Thanks for taking us with you on this ride and I'm glad you got Boss safely through those sheep!

  12. That was even more adventure than you bargained for! Awesome!

  13. Hi Janie. The aspens are the beautiful; I've been wondering if they are golden yet. Love your header shot. And your first shot too...that is big country! We used to raise sheep. Our horses were not afraid of course since they were in the same barn, and same pasture some times. Poor mischief, that's a good size herd of sheep.

  14. well, it suppose to be in 3D, can I download and watch? will it show normally?

  15. Them's killer sheeps, they is!

    That's one pretty cuttie.

    Just heard this tune "Quick as Dreams" by Slaid Cleaves, brought a tear to my eye, thought of you horse folks:

  16. Pretty photos! I bet you have taken a lot more this week. Thank goodness you were wearing orange that day!

  17. Those photographs are outstanding. Looking at that open terrain makes me want to jump on a horse and head west!

  18. Hi Janie: Frankly, I feel a certain affinity with Boss. I'm wickedly phobic about frogs and toads. I'm guessing the size ratios would be comparable, horse:sheep = human:frog? No one has ever been able to explain to me the origins of this bizarre and embarrassing fear. So I let my imagination loose on the quandary. In that spirit, I suspect I was a very poorly behaved frog during some other life, and a "WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE" poster has become embedded in the DNA of all frogs who knew me then, as well as their descendants! There--how's that for an explanation? Pass it along to Boss. I'd be interested to hear his reaction :))



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