Nature · Photography · Winter

All the pretty horses

Cowgirl in the light of the setting sun
Cowgirl in the light of the setting sun

Last Friday I was in need of an adventure. You know the feeling – when you just have to get out to explore?

For a change Facebook came in handy, when someone read about my intense need to “boldly go” where no man photographer had gone before and offered to take me to a spot she knew in the hills overlooking town.

We drove about four minutes, parked in a cul-de-sac and traipsed into the snowy woods above Dragon Lake Hill to the perfect spot from which to launch our photographic endeavors. Except, it wasn’t perfect. Not then, anyway. A horrible haze was sprawled rudely across the valley and the sun was in the worst spot for taking photos – right in our faces. And so we traipsed right out again, without taking one.

Not to be defeated, we drove into a subdivision from which we could walk up a hill that I reckoned would give us a good view of Dragon Lake itself. We parked and plodded up a slippery road, towards a clearing under the power lines. “Private Property” the sign read near the top – exactly where we needed to go. I was getting all philosophical about how one shouldn’t be disappointed if one didn’t get good photos every time one went out. But secretly I was disheartened.

The walk was great – the chilly winter’s air; the crunch of snow beneath my sodden feet; heart pounding in my ears. But, having been thwarted by the barbarous fence blocking our ascent, all we could do was mutter under our laboured breath, turn around, and schlep back down the hill. Our only consolation was to stop on the way home for a cup of Timmy’s coffee or hot chocolate to help drown our disappointment.

But wait, being the adventurers we were, we tried one more attack on the hill – from a different direction – this time just off Hydraulic Road. Thwarted again! The snow was too deep for the car, which kept spinning on the dirt road leading up the hill. And so we drove to Timmy’s anyway (the long way around – behind Dragon Lake) as the shadows grew ever longer.

And that was where the most unexpected, ideal, serendipitous moment leapt from the hills to our left and right:

Sunset. A cowgirl. And horses. On a snow-covered hill. Under the power lines.

We screeched to a halt and left the car running in the right lane, hazard-lights hazarding into the growing gloom. Only when it got too dark to compose a shot effectively did we pack up and go.

It’s true, in photography sometimes you don’t get the photo you are planning for. And sometimes you get a few that are so much more pleasing than you could have imagined. Friday was one of those days. And when we eventually stopped at Timmy’s, rather than bemoaning lost opportunities, we were aglow with (photographic) happiness … Ahhhhhhhh.

Cowgirl looking
Cowgirl looking
The power of sunset
Sunset power
Heading for home
Heading for home
Looking into the shot
Looking into the distance

9 thoughts on “All the pretty horses

  1. Great pictures really like the horse and sunset ones, especially the white horse with the brown face, really nice. Seems you found your adventure 🙂

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