I’m a flexible person. Not in the word’s literal sense. You’ll never see me wearing my onesie running and flopping about on some rubber mat at your gym (try to get that picture out of your mind soon). I mean that when I’m presented with valid alternatives, I can change my priorities—like with this week’s image.
I got out of bed extra early this Thursday to drive up the hill and take sunrise pictures. I knew what subject I wanted to shoot and had planned my outing before I ever got out of bed. When I left the house with my cameras and thermos of hot coffee, the light was beginning to break in the east, and I knew that I could get to Skull Valley just as the sun rose over the Sierra Prieta Range. After all, this is the way we go to Prescott all of the time. The trip was as routine as a run to the corner store for a pack of Chesterfields.
I was right, of course. As I hauled my equipment out of the car, there was no one around, not even on the busy highway. Only me and my subject were there, so I quietly got to work. Fifteen minutes later, I put my junk back into the truck, and I began the drive home.
As I drove south, I wondered if the Ranch House Restaurant would be open when I got to Yarnell. They don’t open until seven, and that’s only on the weekends. It’s a good breakfast stop. Then, as your mind wants to do, I began deciding what to order. I love their ham and eggs, but their serving is so large, the ham comes on its own plate. I usually take half of it home and make another meal from it. I decided on chorizo and eggs—with an extra dash of cayenne cause I like it spicy.
I happened to be driving past the horse ranches in Peeples Valley as the great breakfast debate raged within my head. Suddenly, I felt that something was out of place, so I had to come back to earth to discover what caused the disturbance in the force. Out in the west pasture was a brilliant white horse, and it stood out like a search beacon in the tall green grass. My hunger wrestled my creativity briefly before I stopped Archie. Breakfast would wait.
I know next to nothing about horses and only rode one time. That nag was rude as it actually said, “oof,” when I got on. Most of them are brown around these parts, as in this instance. When I walked up to the fence, he/she/it ignored me and munched its way through the grass. That shot presented me with a great contrasty shot of the south end of a northbound horse—if ya’ know what I mean. I began to walk the fence line, chirping and whistling—trying to get its head up.
As I walked more, a mare and her foal moved into my frame and messed my composition. The mare continued to graze and ignored my presence, but the foal was timidly curious and circled behind her. Just as I thought I had enough frames—and this always happens with animals and me—the foal stepped in front of the mare and shouted, “I’m a cute baby horsie, why don’t you take my picture too?” So, I did.
Meanwhile, back at the office, when I saw what I had, I decided to push my intended shots back a week or two and publish this one first. It goes with last week’s picture and should make the complaining commenter happy. The animals in this week’s photo are more than specks on the landscape.
I call this week’s featured image Grazing Horses, and you can see a larger version of it on its Web Page by clicking here. Be sure to come back next week and see what else we dug up around the ol’ homestead.
Until next time — jw