I have recently arrived in the Outer Banks of NC to spend some time with the wild horses that populate the southern region of the Outer Banks. This is my fifth year visiting the region and I have become familiar enough with the bands to notice the changes that occur from year to year. Mostly, the anticipated changes are the highlights of seeing the newborns a year older, the yearlings from the previous year maturing and often play fighting and the ever shifting herd structures. On this visit, however, I was caught off guard.
As predicted, the inclement weather continued from yesterday but it is anticipated to push through today. Eager to assess the changes since my last visit, we were able to get out for an hour and half this morning before this ominous cloud opened up and saturated the area with rains and thunder. In that very short window, I was granted a sighting of the once dominate stallion known as Wavelength, very much alone. The initial excitement of seeing him was quickly extinguished with despair as I began to visually register his weakened condition that I had heard so much about since I last photographed him. An alpha stallion that commanded two to three mares, now alone and exposed. There could not have been a more disheartening reminder that life in the wild is not always the way we desire or want it to be. I felt my eyes well up with moisture as we turned around to head back to shore. This might be a more challenging shoot than I could have ever imagined.
Tomorrow, however, is a new day.