Tres Caballos

Today I woke up to the sound of pouring rain on a cold southern Arizona morning. A new beginning, as it was New Years Day 2017. As I was lying in bed thinking about where I wanted to go shoot today the sound stopped. I thought the rain may of ended but immediately I heard my wife say with a loud and excited voice, "it's snowing". I sat up in bed and looked out the window and sure enough, huge white flakes were coming down in a frenzy. Stunned, I jumped out of bed and put some warm clothes on and ran outside with my camera. I was just hoping to catch a couple frames before the snowfall stopped. It doesn't snow very often in Nogales and certainly not that much if it does. As I began to shoot, I realized the snow was starting to stick and it was coming down much harder. I decided to grab my camera gear, keys and hit the road. I had an idea to drive to Patagonia or maybe even as far as Sonoita because I have gotten lucky on other occasions during winter storms in that area. For some reason a certain shot entered my mind. The shot I was thinking about making was a desert photo that was high in the Nogales mountains looking over Arizona and then on into Mexico. There are a group of majestic ocotillos that would make a great snow covered photograph in that area. So I made the turn and drove up the mountain. Sure enough the landscape was covered in fresh white snow. I got out of the truck, grabbed my camera and started looking for a nice composition with the ocotillos in the foreground, the snow covered mountains as the backdrop and positioning the fast moving low clouds rolling over the desert. The snow was really coming down and me along with my camera were already soaked. As I started shooting I heard what sounded like cattle or horses. Wow! There they were. Three stunning horses coming up the mountainside. They weren't just walking but galloping, biting at one another and playing in the fresh snowfall. My attention quickly turned to them. Quickly I changed lenses and slowly started to approach them. I didn't want to frighten them as I hadn't even taken a photo of them yet. As I got closer I snapped a few frames and expected them to run off down the mountain. I was amazed that not only did they stick around, they started to approach me. The beautiful tan horse was especially friendly and seemed to want me to play with or chase her. She would come up to me and then run backward, turn around and come right back up to me. As I started photographing her, she was amazingly cooperative. Standing perfectly still as I took her picture. Shortly again they started running around jumping up and down, even to what seemed to look like wrestling as they would jump up on their hind legs and clash their front legs together. It was quite a site to see. Biting and chasing one another like they were playing tag. Soon they settled down and started to graze on the desert plants. As they quieted down I was able to get some nice compositions of the three and they continued to let me photograph them with ease.  Not a bad way to start the New Year with three amazing new friends!

Playful and beautiful

Tres Caballos

Running and playing in the fresh desert snowfall