Colorado weather holds a popular anecdote stating “If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour“. The fact is, Colorado weather is actually quite irregular due to several meteorological facts. Mainly, the Polar Jet Stream and the Pacific Jet Stream coalesce over the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains. Also, the ENSO cycles of El Nino and La Nina impact the seasonal outcome significantly. Winter 2022 has confirmed a second year of La Nina conditions that drive the Polar Jet Stream toward the north east. In contrast, an El Nino cycle would facilitate cold moist arctic air to blanket abundant snow accumulation deep into central Colorado.
A positive side effect of this second year ENSO cycle assisted the ongoing construction of the 230 acre fence perimeter. The abbreviated freeze/thaw cycles experienced this winter allowed fencepost installation to be completed ahead of schedule. Likewise, the developed water resources in the extended grazing corral have performed flawlessly through the worst of the frigid temperatures. La Nina and its reduction of winter precipitation has also allowed the Rocky Mountain Mustang Refuge to construct a permanent round pen within the 3 acre corral. The circular pen will assist training and behavior discovery while enabling a more intimate environment for interaction with the mustangs.
Meanwhile the Wyoming mustangs, now fully endowed with winter coats, continue to predominate the domain. Several “Shade Shifter” genetic traits have seasonally transformed the colors of the roans to a majestic black. The mustangs continue to demonstrate curiosity toward us, especially when supplemental hay is being unloaded. Nonetheless, their preference at this time is to remain aloof while enjoying their newly found sense of freedom. We look forward to sharing additional insights as we expand our opportunities to interact and discover.