Two great days of tracking and nature with local people and not locals, but raised in the Park. Our goals for the weekend were clear, ambitious but clear, we were on the trail of a Puma who was prowling the Estancia a few days ago, see rare birds and of course the Baguales of Stoke.
The first day we started tracking around the estancia, in search of the male puma captured by camera traps last week, disappointed we found nothing fresh and the gaucho said that he had not been seen as of 5 days ago.
So it was that we went to our favorite place, the Post Baguales to the edge of the Stoke Valley lagoon, protected by the shelter of the Great Sierra Masle. As we had two days of Patagonia Bagual, we had the luxury to review, comment and analyze every detail. The day was made special by a lot of things, but nature gave us a festival of multicolored mushrooms that were a product of the heavy rains of March and not content with this, the blood colored fall, slowly and intensely descended through the foothills of the mountains, turning red every Lenga its path.
So I spent the day between colors, hiking, singing and detailing. While we did not see the baguales, we aimed to reach the viewpoint of Lago Paine was fulfilled and we found fresh tracks left, our outreach strategy for the next day was clear. Surely they were grazing protected by the forests of the north face of the mountain Masle and the next day would continue with random parameters, shepherding life and filling the mountains, we would live by them, camouflaged by the northern forest Masle.
Back home we were lucky to meet a blind man’s chicken, which we captured in photographs.
The second day began a little hectic, start warming the estancia by making fire as reconnective therapy with dogs loose and very restless, and of course, as the light filled spaces the Puma silhouette was recognized as he spun, he turned, and ran after the 5 dogs as a hobby. Two shouts to move people out of the house «Puma, the Puma» and go take pictures with little light and my little experience as a photographer got what I got, but more importantly, to see the Magic Cat. Then let us know that we were not a threat , he quietly moved away, without hurry, he disappeared into the secrets of the ñirres.
Clearly the day generated great expectations, and so, we begin our trek through the foothills of the Masle, this time without taking much time on details, we had a set goal, and if the conclusions of the previous day were successful, would have the horses close in less than 1 hour. They were dimly, hidden among the hills, resting, easily confused with the landscape. We climbed to the top of the Sierra Masle to contemplate the immensity and give the horses time to give us some clue as to where they were really going.
After watching them closely, some others grazing, others resting, and suddenly the most special of the day, a small foal, less than 7 days old, and a large group of more than 10 males interested in what would be the zeal of the mare.
Horses have a very long gestation, about 11 months, so the evolutionary species developed the ability to present a zeal to 7 days old colt, that is, the mare come into estrus at any time, that is why the first days after birth of a foal Bagual are very difficult, because the mother is harassed by males, and newborns do not get the tranquility you need for your first days of life.
The herd of baguales, produced bustle of the situation, began moving towards us, we had to think fast and there was not a tree close to hide, then our strategy would be motionless for a few minutes to simulate were rocks, lichens, coirón, or any inanimate object in the present environment. While I turned a few seconds, the horses saw us, we were too close, since we were there, we decided to seize the moment and start using our cameras to record the moment. The graphic result was a success at the time, the images are descriptive and excellent and every situation like this gives me the opportunity to increase my experience as a photographer.
Finally it was time to go back and fill our spirit of a bagual autumn, we had a quiet return home.