I'm working on an article for Wildlife Conservation about the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary
, rummaging through the 250 pictures my husband and I shot to remind me of how wonderful it was to be there. We spent three days in South Dakota in late June-- really, I could have spent three weeks wandering that state. You can drive down what seems like an ordinary road there and wind up falling over in awe.
Half our time was spent at the horse sanctuary, where 500 wild horses that have been removed from public lands are living the good life on open range near Hell Canyon. And I was living the good life along with them! As we were driving around with the sanctuary's director, I was thinking how wonderful it is to be a freelance writer-- to come up with a great idea for an article (okay, I think all my ideas are great), to get an editor to agree, then to walk though the door into that other world that each article represents. Plenty of tourists visit the sanctuary, but when you're there to write about it you have this incredibly dense, rich experience with the place and the people that no one else gets. I've been carrying that experience around with me for the past month, as if it's a hard little seed. Now to see what I can grow from it.
The sanctuary sells foals--here's one from this year's fecundity. Look at the heart on his face! As if his genes held a little conference before he was born: "How do we make this guy extra cute?"