horses on the pampas, March 2010

In March of 2010 I found myself astride a horse, riding for four days across the Pampas in northeastern Argentina.  This view is quite typical, although a bit dry.  It apparently rained for most of the first two months of the year and the pampas were turned into a large marsh.  At this point we are riding north, late in the afternoon, on a road which is a few feet higher than the water level.  For some of the ride we were in water, in some cases up to the horses' bellies.  If you look carefully above the white horse, about halfway up into the sky you'll see what looks like a bird.  It isn't a bird, it is a dragonfly.  Why is there a dragonfly up there?  Well, he's there to feast on the mosquitos.  There were several dozen, if not a couple of hundred dragonflies hovering around us for four days.  They were well fed. 

With us are a number of spare horses, and some wild horses who are just wandering about.  There are also some cattle ahead, although not many.  We didn't see too many cows, except on the first day.  Horses we did see.  There were herds of horses just meandering about.  It is really quite impressive when a group of wild horses goes thundering by, throwing up turf and dirt, running gracefully where ever they please.

I took this shot with my little Canon powershot 1100 in the waterproof case.  As I've blogged before, it is a great camera for wet events, and this one certainly qualified.  I will admit that I acquired a few bruises around my torso from the camera smacking me when we really got moving, but for the most part I was glad I had it.  An SLR would not have worked from horseback and would have almost certainly gotten ruined by the mud, water and dirt.

Four days in the saddle also created some additional injuries, but we won't talk about that.