It was my first morning on Assateague this past trip. As always, I was up early and ready for an adventure so I made my way to the dune side of the island. Last year, my favorite trio could often be found there. It seemed to be one of their two favorite spots. Anyway, as I made my way towards the end of the park, there he was. Standing in all his glory, grazing in the morning sun. A brown and white beauty that I had not had the privilege of seeing the year before. I just knew I had to jump on this opportunity (at least the best I could). Besides the fact that you are only allowed within so many feet of the wild babies, I try not to be overly invasive. I kept my distance and was able to get a few shots before he saw me. I had discovered that there are a couple of different types of ponies in Assateague. Some will ignore you, some will stare at you, and then there is the Medicine Man. His M.O….he likes to disappear. As soon as he realized that I was there, he made like a ghost and disappeared into the woods. Thankfully, he just kind of moseyed off and I was able to get in a few more shots. Still he was going somewhere I could not follow (mainly because the dog was in the car and she’s not allowed on the trails). It looked like this particular trail headed off to the ocean side parking. The dog and I made our way over there. I should have known…the wild never stick to the path laid. They may always start out on a path, but the wild and free…they make their own paths. I didn’t really think I’d see him again. Two days later… there he’d be. I was up and at with the sun. After sitting on the beach for a while, the dog and I went pony hunting. I remembered that last year I could always find my trio down at the old ferry landing. I thought for sure that I’d at least see them, but then I saw the ghost. Just standing and grazing on a patch of island. Soaking in the morning sun. I tried quickly to get situated with my camera and tripod, but then he saw me. I was kind of wishing at that point that I was a ghost or at least had the power of invisibility. I followed him as he headed off to the other side of the landing. If I wanted to be good, I needed have patience. So, I waited patiently. Patiently for what seemed like forever as he decided to not come closer to me. He had the upper hand. There was water separating us and he took full advantage of that fact. Ghosts are only seen when they want to be and he…he didn’t want to be seen. I respect that. Some would have waded through the water to get to him, but not me. If it had been meant to be, he would have come to me.
When I decided to call it, this woman stopped me as I got back to my car. She wanted to know if I got any good shots of this boy. I told her that I got what I thought were a few. This turned into at least an hour or so long conversation. She was a rambler. She went on about this horse known as Bodacious Bob (I don’t like that so I’m going to call him Medicine Man. His face coloring’s namesake). She told me that if I was able to see him; especially, get pictures of him, then I was extremely fortunate, lucky, and blessed. This was not a horse that was seen often.
I don’t know if I believe much in luck and I won’t discuss my relationship with God and blessings. Those are soap boxes and stories for another day. I will however say that it was a good trip and that if I was able to see a beauty that is rarely seen….getting up with the sun did me good. Montana Rose Photography