In search of wild babies in the Pinenuts

I ran into a neighbor while walking my dog a few days ago. He has not lived here too long, and we started talking about the wildlife in the Carson Valley. I mentioned the two mustangs that were just down from my house the other day. They were the first I have seen here in Johnson Lane in the nine years I have lived here. Then I mentioned the new baby born in the herd in Fish Springs that I took pictures of a few weeks ago. There was also another addition to that herd a couple of days ago. He was excited and wanted to see them. So I suggested Sunday we go for an ATV ride. The weather man said it would be sunny.

So at 11 a.m. I pulled into Bill and Marianne's driveway, dressed for weather since it was cloudy and looking as though it would snow at any minute. We headed out the end of Johnson Lane, out Sunrise Pass beyond the painted rock, to the first cross grain to the south. A quick stop at major land marks so Bill could pick up on identifying landmarks in case he were to explore later and feel lost. The sand wash, the power line road, to Slater Mine Road. Still heading south, we came up onto a Plateau and there they were right beside the road. They didn't seem to like our noisy vehicles, so we pulled up on a two track on the top side of them and hiked over the knoll. Where did they go? I was puzzled. Usually they aren't too bothered by us. But they were gone. So we put our helmets back on and headed into the north side of Fish Springs. I spotted them on the Bureau of Land Management land in my mom's backyard. As we dropped down the hill, they took off up and over the slope. Being sneaky, we drove the long way around to Juniper Canyon. They were about 300 yards away on BLM land at the top of the hill. We left the vehicles on the trail and started hiking, cameras in hand. We were able to get close enough to take some good photos. The charcoal new baby from last month was quite a bit bigger than when I took pictures of him last. This new baby born a couple days ago is so cute. It is tan with white legs and a lot of white on its hind quarters. We stayed quite a while watching the herd. Then it was time to hike back down and head for home. We didn't make it to Slater Mine Road before the snow started dumping and dumping and dumping. My goggles were so full of snow I could barely see. My fingers and my chin were frozen. What was it the weatherman always says about our weather here in Northern Nevada; oh yeah, "Wait five minutes, it'll change." And it did. By the time we got home I cranked up the heater and put the tea kettle on. Wow, what an adventure. I wonder if Bill and Marianne will ever want to ride with me again.

n Lisa Welch is a Johnson Lane resident. She can be reached at 267-9350.n Lisa Welch is a Johnson Lane resident. She can be reached at 267-9350.


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