Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Steens HMA Week "Jingles and Juniper" Challenge Painting #67

"Jingles and Juniper"
5 by 7 inche Watercolor
by Linda L MartinArtist
The Story of Juniper and Jingles as told by Tracy Westbury:

"The story of Juniper (colt) and Jingles  (mare) has captured a lot of hearts.  These photos were taken in late Oct, 2010.  Wildlife Photographer, Barbara Wheeler spotted Jingles and her newborn in mid-Sept.  When we reported that we'd spotted a mare who was extremely down in weight, we had a lot of people telling us that was normal for a mare who'd just foaled.  But upon seeing the photos, people were surprised at just how down in weight she was.  Coming into winter, when the snow could be several feet deep, we questioned whether she and her colt would survive.

When this photo was taken at the end of Autumn
you can see the dip in the mare, Jingle's,
 backbone,that is caused by loss of condition.
In an older mare such as Jingles, this is probably
 because she is feeding all the nutrients
she consumes to her foal instead of  building up
 her own stores for winter. Had the winter been
worse the mare would have probably perished and
her foal would have been nurtured by an aunt
with in the herd.
The two have been spotted a couple more times this winter.  Juniper is now 5 months and a very healthy colt.  Jingles, who at the time of these photos appeared to be a lead mare, now staggers along a good hundred to two hundred feet behind her band.  Her stallion appears annoyed with her, willing to leave her behind, not giving her a second glance.  When at the watering hole or a mineral deposit, Jingles stays a good distance away, waiting for everyone else to finish before cautiously moving in.

The winter has been kind to snow on the mountain!  This has enabled her to continue to get enough nutrition to feed her colt.  If she were to die tomorrow, Juniper would be strong enough to survive.  But there is no doubt that Jingles won't be with us much longer. "

Editor's Note: This story was written in February and as of Tuesday March16 both Juniper and Jingles have been photographed. Juniper is in fine condition and has lost all of her baby fluff and has turned into a beautiful rich chocolate silver that just glistens in the sunshine. Jingles did indeed make it through the winter. The resilience of Mustang mares is remarkable. She is now beginning to put on weight. According to one horse watcher they are hopeful that after 15 years of having foals she will be barren this year and in coming years, which will allow her a chance to live out her life  healthy. If you would like to follow more of the Steens horses please log into Facebook and go to the "Sister's of the Steens" page. There are photos, discussions, and a number of people who can tell you how to visit these horses safely.

A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this painting will benefit Mustang U.

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