On any given morning or afternoon I have a mental checklist I run through upon locating the horses. Once I find the mares and foals, I do a quick scan to check for a few things. First, during the spring and summer, I study the mares that have looked close to foaling, checking for new babies. In this scene, I can see a new foal with the bay mare on the far right. I am surprised by, and make a mental note of, the light color of the baby. Second, I track down the location of the stallion. It’s always wise to know where the herd stallion is at all times. I try to never be between him and his mares. Next, I attempt a count of all the foals, to verify their safety, then I check for each of the other herd members. I also watch for any signs of discomfort, physically or behaviorally, in all the horses. Last, I make some decisions about photography related needs based on the light conditions. All of this happens, without much conscious effort, and it only takes a few seconds. It’s my immediate peace-of-mind-checklist.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserve of strength
that will endure as long as life lasts.
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature-
the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
“Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” – William Wordsworth
Two brothers hangin’ in the ‘hood.
In search of the mares one spring morning, the fog just burning off, I finally had some luck. These three mares and their new foals were the first to be seen; we surprised each other on this hilltop. I was marching up one side and they were cresting the hill from the other. The sky freshly revealed, all of us caught off guard and a brand new foal made for an unusual and spontaneous shot. The mares were on a mission and proceeded to jog straight past me and the rest of the mares and foals followed directly behind them. This brief encounter left me a little astonished. They were found and gone all in a matter of seconds.