Thursday, April 15, 2010

Altamiro and the Sandhill Cranes

Two Sandhill Cranes fly over the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve on Manitoulin Island

I'm a woman with a philosophical, meditative, reflective, gentle disposition. I have been trained to show restraint, be a witness, a watcher, to stand outside myself, to "feel" deeply--yet not be swept away by emotionality.

I'm steady, reliable, balanced, serenely grounded in "the now"...

...except when I am not!

Which sometimes is my reality, too.

Certain occurrences, sights, fragrances, sounds, textures can transport me and evoke a completely absorbed state of sensuality (which I do not mean in a sexual context). This, too, is part of "the now", but it is not experienced by me with esoteric detachment, rather the sensation is like an intoxicating wave, a fever, a particular madness, after which I return to that more stoic mien that is my preponderant manner of being.

Living here at Ravenseyrie, especially mingling with the primitive Sorraia and Sorraia Mustang horses provides me with the opportunity to explore both the spiritual and the carnal elements of myself and I must tell you that many times there seems no discernable duality during the peak experiences characterized by "a particular madness".

"Part of us still knows we need the Wild Redeemer."--Dale Pendell

During this early spring the catalyst to many an "intoxicating wave" is our Sorraia stallion, Altamiro, five years old and SO very ENERGIZED!!

In my last journal entry, I relayed that Altamiro often leaves his family band to go "lookin' for adventure", and I mentioned that he has begun to delight in chasing seagulls and ravens. We can add the Sandhill Crane to this list of aves singled out for entertainment purposes by this ardent ancestral stallion...and I have it on video!!!

A Sandhill Crane and Canada Goose in close proximity during the spring of 2009 at Ravenseryie

Altamiro was coming back from the east sector yesterday, early evening, after having put in some rambunctious interactivity with Mistral's group. I was making dinner and could see him coming back across the field, and he paused, looking like a chiseled statue of mythic proportions.

I could tell he still had energy to spare and was looking for the next activity to engage himself in. I wished for two things as I watched him...I wished that I had my camera on the tripod with the bigger lens attached, and I wished there was a flock of seagulls nearby by, because I just knew Altamiro would race toward them and send them scattering on the wind.

As I was wishing these things, off to the west a pair of Sandhill Cranes descended and landed just to the north of the Red Osier Dogwood region. Altamiro saw them too! I grabbed my camera (ordinary lens, no tripod) and quickly took up a position outside and pushed "record". Altamiro had to cover quite a distance and while trying to keep him in the view-finder I was unable to also get the cranes in the same frame, but you'll hear their distinctive voices, and around the 20 second mark of the video clip, up in the left upper corner of the frame you'll see they've taken off. Though I was unable to zoom in any closer, you still can get a sense of the thrill of watching this amazing stallion run across the landscape, bent on chasing up those birds! "Racin' with the wind..."

To help you see them better, I've extracted a still scene from the video clip, of poor quality, but I really wanted you to see that those smart cranes left the ground before thundering hooves got too close. See them, near the top, on the left?

Two pieces of music have been fighting for attention in my mind since Altamiro has begun to so energetically take on the entire world. What other stallion can inspire a mild-mannered woman to hear both Steppenwolf and Beethoven at the same time?

Mars Bonfire wrote a song that obviously Altamiro has somehow listened to. Below, are the lyrics to Born to be Wild. As you read them, I'm betting like me, you can see how Altamiro expresses all that these words convey. And if you're not familiar with this incredible Steppenwolf song, I've pasted in a performance by them so you can hear what I hear when I see Altamiro strutting his stuff here at Ravenseyrie.

Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

I like smoke and lightning
Heavy metal thunder
Racin' with the wind
And the feelin' that I'm under
Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be wild
We can climb so high
I never wanna die

Born to be wild
Born to be wild

But! As I mentioned, Ludwig von Beethoven's music also comes to mind when I view Altamiro's combustibility. One example would be the "presto agitado" third movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata. I've selected a performance by Murray Perahia for you to hear:

As you can tell by the sensual elements of this journal entry, I am unable to show restraint while watching Altamiro express his joie de vivre and have given up trying. Sometimes the river is fast moving, and I'm swept away...but I do not think it detracts from spiritual aspiration...I think it enhances it, don't you?


Hilary Lohrman said...

Oh, what a gorgeous and proud young man. The epitome of freedom! He reminds me of the young men in my (now adult) son's college fraternity. We would visit on parent's weekends, and they would all be milling about, full of libido and bravado and shining like stars. So lovely! Thank you for recording and sharing this.

eva said...

Lynne, your rock star, could he be missing peers? other males of equal strength, charisma and power?

I have a feeling he would not be pleased to know you posted that picture of the teeth-clapping colt :-)

eva said...

Trying again: String these two lines together without a space:


June said...

Yes, and we do have the tendency to want to tame down those young stallions, and those young men, don't we?
As you showed us with Pinoteia, they contain a destructive force - but hopefully we don't let that spook us into wanting to dampen their ardor and their force.
Eva - what a beautiful video - what a sad ending. I emailed the White House.
Yeah, and nobody tell Altamiro about the photos - hopefully he doesn't have Internet.

Lynne Gerard said...

Hilary, Eva and June,

You each understand well this young male bravado Altamiro shines with. As long as he refrains from truly harming others, I stand by tingling with pleasure like a groupie.

Eva. Thank you for the link to that video clip of the Calico herd--it all looks very familiar to what we see here. Wonderful to see! Except for the end...

Kris McCormack said...

Eva asked the question I was going to ask -- I wonder in what ways Altamiro's behavior toward the mares would change if there were competition for their affections.

He's gorgeous, Lynne.... Now if you could only catch him scattering a flock of white gulls... I've got the photo perfectly in mind. It requires at least 6 or 7 gulls. :-)

Lynne Gerard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynne Gerard said...

Kris (and Eva) inquired:
"I wonder in what ways Altamiro's behavior toward the mares would change if there were competition for their affections."

Ahh, but you see, they are! Even last year, Animado was "sniffing around", just prior to being ousted from the family band, even having put in a test mount on Belina when she was in heat.

Don't think for a moment Altamiro isn't aware that his son's are potential rivals and might be soon waiting for an opportunity to spirit away one of his mares.

This accounts for a lot of the rough, tyrant-like actions Altamiro takes with his mares, drives them mercilessly whenever he feels there is not enough distance between them and Mistral's group. He keeps them much more on edge this time of the year than in late autumn and winter.

We will soon be relocating the stud colts, however, as we've reached an agreement to lease some land a few miles away. This will keep the colts from breeding their half-sisters and should take some pressure off Altamiro.

I'll surely keep you appraised of how this effects dynamics.

Annemiek said...


What a treat to feel a little of the energy of Altamiro’s outburst. It just makes me wish I could somehow accompany him (not physically but spiritually). To experience the world like he does, feeling the power and the energy of that gorgeous body and the delight in chasing those birds into the air. Just for those 30 seconds!