The Day My Heart Stopped


Several posts back I mentioned it was a day filled with heart stopping moments. April 2nd, to be exact. The day we found Gray Ghost without his mares. I have been sitting on the heart stopping story, well it was heart stopping for me.

On April 2nd I went out into the park at sunrise in search of the new foal in Georgia’s Boy tiny band. I finally found them about 7:45, yes it took awhile, and they weren’t easy to get to. They were west of Johnson Plateau on the treeline next to the Little Missouri river.

I stood on the plateau trying to decide if I could get down and back up before I had to meet Lincoln and Melissa at park headquarter’s by 9am.

The inside your head argument started: “Yes you can do it.” “No Deb you will be cutting it close you can come back another day.” “Yes Deb the light is sweet and you can see them, do it.” “No! It’s a long way off this butte and it’s going to take a long time to come back out, especially in this wind!” “YES, just do it!!!” The Yes Deb finally won.

I work my way off the butte, slowly. Finally get across the bottom to the treeline and Georgia’s Boy has run up under a big cottonwood tree regally waiting to see what I am. My phone has been ringing in my pocket and I have ignored it because I am setting up to shoot. I carried my tripod in instead of the monopod because the wind was howling so horrifically! So setting up was more of a challenge and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity.

As I am looking through my viewfinder taking pics of Georgia’s Boy doing his magnificent stallion poses, I caught something moving out of the peripheral of my right eye. I pulled my head up to look and thought, “What is that? The foal?” “He’s a funny color and small and why isn’t it with his momma?” “Oh wait, holy moly…it’s a coyote!!!” “What the heck and he’s moving toward the stallion.” Oh my Gosh!!!

My knees are shaking, my hands are shaking, and my phone starts to ring again in my pocket! I’m trying to reach down and turn the volume down and not spook the scene unfolding right before me, get my settings right on my camera, get everything in focus…it’s just happening too fast!!!

Georgia’s Boy spooks to the left and the coyote magically appears right where he had been standing, and stayed there, under the big cottonwood tree! Now what? I pan left and see Georgia’s Boy on the edge of the trees working his way back behind the coyote. You have to be kidding, and come out on the other side of the cottonwood and stand there!

I am now almost a puddle on the ground my heart was pounding so hard! Of course the images aren’t perfect because of that, my brain couldn’t take it all in and handle the coyote too. I was there to photograph a new foal, not this! I think you will get the gist of it in these four images!

Thanks for reading this very long post! I hope you enjoy and have an awesome day in your part of the world!
As always thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support!