Today and once more next Tuesday...

Joy Ufford photo

Only two more editions of the Sublette Examiner left with this byline.

Springtime is settled, in the very green Hoback Basin on Dell Creek Road, although nowhere near as far along as Pinedale with flowers and trees due to what appears to be a constant cloud cover that kept last weekend in the 50s.

My glorious lilacs – both purple and white – are bursting with pleasure and perfume in town. I could dream pleasant dreams with bouquets beside my pillow.

Not so lucky in Bondurant. When snow covered over my “little lilac” (that bloomed once in the past decade), its lower branches with promising buds last autumn created a little sub-arctic den for voles and mice.

Their winter bark-chewing girdled many branches, so my fingers are crossed that maybe a few buds will survive in a warmer summer. It’s sending out new shoots.

With moody grey clouds rolling over the sky and mountains, the weather was noticeably cooler than town. Good for hammering staples into the fence posts while K tightened and strung wire that not so long ago were drifted under. We worked our way up the hillside to a little ridge overlooking the vast green ocean below – even the sagebrush is green. K said he might have seen it greener but doesn’t remember a particular year, so 2023 will be the greenest year ever.

The coolness is a balm for me; I can work better in it than under a hot sun.

I wandered down to the corral where three horses – two being Katherine’s Monkey and K’s Spur – nickered at me, and I nickered at them. They were behind a closed gate to stay out of trouble. My goal was to visit with the third one, a dark grey colt K brought home from Billings. He wants to nip and play. K said he was halter broke; on Dell Creek he’s been a horse child of leisure.

Earlier when the three were in the grass, the colt laid down and Monkey plumped down beside him. Spur stood guard. Then Monkey stood up and Spur napped awhile, the colt oblivious.

I started seeing this boy colt is growing up. His dark eyes and grey brown face are firmer, his legs muscling as he capers with the others.

Weekends past, I’d walk through a larger group of horses in the corral, naming and patting them. “Colt” doesn’t have much of a ring to it.

I started singing as I wandered, which is something horses do not seem to mind as much as K and other humans. One song haunts me, over and over and over. I carried it into the corral Sunday.

“Elvin Bishop sittin on a bale of hay, he ain’t good lookin but he sure can play, and there’s ZZ Top and you can’t forget old brother Willie’s getting soakin wet…” Charlie Daniels Band, 1981.

Sunday, I grabbed a halter much too large for the colt’s head but he dipped his nose a fraction of an inch and let me fasten it. We walked, whoa’d, he let me pick up his little front hooves, scratch his ears and clearly knows how to untie a rope knotted to a post.

“Elvin Bishop sittin on a bale of hay… I’ve got a name for him,” I called to K.

“No. We are not naming him Elvin Bishop,” he replied.