June 25th @ 1AM
Did you know that the large piles of horse manure you see in the Tonto National Forest are territorial and communication markings for wild horses?
They are called stud piles, or dung depots, and almost every dominant stallion who comes across it, will stop, and smell it intensely, gathering as much information from it as possible, and then will deposit his own contribution on top of it.
What is interesting is that these stud piles often are located at busy horse path intersections and when we connect these dots on a map, you get an intricate trail system of paths and migratory routes.
In addition to being important to the horses, the manure is also important to the condition of the top layer of the soil, which is otherwise mostly sandy. The piles make for excellent fertilization, and excellent sprouting beds for new mesquite trees. 🌱
This is some important shit! 😄