Featured Image for January 2022

"Sensing"

Wild horses are always using their eyes, ears, and sense of smell to inform their next move.  To approach, to run, to move away, to explore… they use the data they collect through their sensing to decide if it’s safe to explore, safe to connect, and ultimately, when it is safe to rest and to sleep. 

I was in a conversation this morning about the uncertainty of the future.  From a grand scale for the human population, the pandemic is still unpredictable, financial investment analysts are shrugging their shoulders, and severe weather events can occur almost anywhere.  L.A. had tornado warnings last month!  So, now is a really good time to go inward and do some personal sensing about what’s really important TODAY. 

Live life like there’s no tomorrow.  Be your ultimate self in every moment, today.


This image was taken in San Luis Obispo on a Return to Freedom photo safari on March 15, 2021.   

Featured Image for December 2021

"Jalama in Black & White"

Jalama just has this amazing presence.  She seems curious about what I'm doing and she'll even influence the horses around her to come look, just because she's standing there watching me.  I just love this horse!

This image was taken in San Luis Obispo on a Return to Freedom photo safari on March 15, 2021.   

Featured Image for November 2021

"Portrait of a Mustang"

Cristo was branded, identifying him as a Mustang.  I was curious about the branding, and found this information on the internet:

When a wild horse is rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), they are given a freeze brand on their neck. This marking indicates that the horse is federally owned. Each one is unique and has identifying information like birth date and capture location.  Captured horses are freeze branded on the left side of the neck by the BLM, using the International Alpha Angle System, a system of angles and alpha-symbols that cannot be altered.  Although it is generally accepted that freeze branding is less painful than hot-iron branding, it is still less commonly used. This is due to the fact that freeze branding is more expensive because the materials are less common and can evaporate if they are not kept properly cooled.


This image was taken in San Luis Obispo on a Return to Freedom photo safari on June 29, 2018.   

Featured Image for October 2021

"Bear's Mares Kicking Up Dust"

Running Bear's mares are running up a trail on a dry summer afternoon, which leaves a cloud of dust in their wake.   I just like the shape of the horses in this image and the light.  Enjoy!

This image was taken in Lompoc on a Return to Freedom photo safari on July 10th.   

Wild Mustang Featured Image for September, 2021

"Into the Sunset"

This band was making their nightly migration to the part of the sanctuary where they would spend the night, huddled together for safety and rest.  It's interesting to watch them.  Sometimes they graze their way from one spot to another, sort of moving in various clumps in the same direction, subtly so that you aren't really sure if they have a direction, but they do.  Other times, they walk in a line, like you see here.   

This image was taken in San Luis Obispo on a Return to Freedom photo safari on July 17th.  The sky was a bit blah, so I dropped in a few clouds and some nice sunset colors to create a little more mood in the image. 

Featured Image for August 2021

"Charlie"

At Return to Freedom's Lompoc Sanctuary, there's a pasture where rescued stallions live.  There are several stallions that stand out each time I go visit.  Some because they look unique and I can tell who they are, and others because of how they behave.  Two that have captured my attention each time are El Presidente and Charlie.  These two hang out together and have formed as much of a friendship or partnership as two bachelor stallions can.  

I was in Lompoc to help with a photo safari in July and captured some great new images of both stallions.

Featured Image for July 2021

"I can fly"

I took a departure from my usual style this month. I found this image of a beautiful red roan mustang that I photographed from above in a barn in May of 2019 and I love how it shows off her mane, but there was nothing but the dirt floor underneath her. "How can I create an image that gives us something to look at -- and gives HER something to look at besides the ground?" I asked myself.

So I looked for an image looking down from above to put underneath her and found this image on Unsplash by Ed Maughan of Wales. It felt ok for a red haired mare to be matched up with the coast in Wales. As I worked on this image, I got the feeling that the mare and I could just fly off this cliff and over the beach and on down the coast. My experience this past month has been of a re-emergence into what feels like a more normal life without masks in public. It has felt freeing and like a taking off point into the future. So here you are, my image for July 2021. May you fly. May we all fly.

This image will not be printed or sold. It is a collaboration with Ed Maughan and is purely for the celebration of life and the beauty on this planet. Thank you Ed. #edmaughan @edmaughan

Featured Image for June 2021

"Shades of Gray"

I liked the flowing manes of these mustangs and how they were running side by side, so I cropped in on the heads.  I like the mystery of "who's behind the horse in front?!"  I like the white eyelashes, too!  Enjoy.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, California on March 16, 2021.

For more information on the Mustangs living in sanctuary, how to sponsor a Mustang, or to register for a tour or photo safari, visit the Return to Freedom website.

Featured Image for May 2021

"Storm Surge"

It was late afternoon, nearing sunset, and I was standing on a hill across from this one, watching the horses run up to the top of the hill and toward the sunset.  The clouds rolling by as a backdrop, when I enhanced the clouds and the sky, it really gave this image a "stormy" feel while the energy of the herd surged forward.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, California on March 20, 2021 and creatively digitally altered at home in my studio.

For more information on the Mustangs living in sanctuary, how to sponsor a Mustang, or to register for a tour or photo safari, visit the Return to Freedom website.

Featured Image for April 2021

"Noble Hermès"

Hermès is a roan from a band that was rounded up in the Devil's Garden Territory in California and rescued by Return to Freedom.  The band was relocated to RTF's San Luis Obispo sanctuary last year.  Hermès stood there, locked gaze, his on mine, mine on his.  His mates looked up only briefly and went back to grazing, but Hermès watched.

Hermès is named after the Olympian deity in ancient Greek mythology.  Hermès is considered the herald of the gods. He is also considered the protector of human heralds, travellers, thieves, merchants, and orators. He is able to move quickly and freely between the worlds of the mortal and the divine, aided by his winged sandals. Hermès plays the role of the psychopomp or "soul guide" — a conductor of souls into the afterlife.  I can imagine the roan Hermès wearing winged horse shoes.  Can you?

These images were created at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, California on March 15, 2021.  I volunteer for RTF as a photo safari guide, and participated in three safari's in March.  As you can see, the hills are green and the mustang's coats are still thick to keep them warm.  It was very chilly and windy up on the hill!

For more information on the Mustangs living in sanctuary, how to sponsor a Mustang, or to register for a tour or photo safari, visit the Return to Freedom website.

roan mustang
image 20210315_0264 Hermes
Follow Me:
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram