This past week I found myself camped out around 9,000 feet up in the Pryor Mountains of Montana photographing wild horses. This is one of my favorite places to steal away to for a few days in the summer. The the drive up is 2-3 hours of slow going. Rock the size of basket balls, rock ledges, and 1,000 foot drop offs all make up the experience. There is an easier way to get up here – still a lot of big rocks, and still takes a lot of time – but where is the fun in that?
The peak season to come up here are the first two weeks in July. This is when the wildflower display is simply beyond words. But I was late this year. Other obligations kept me elsewhere through the beginning of July and it wasn’t until the very end that I was finally able to load up my SUV and head to the mountains. The horses were all still sprawled out across the sub-alpine meadows, but the wildflowers were largely gone by this point and therefore, so to were the people. I had the entire mountain to myself. The first afternoon I arrived, there was a lone photographer from Billing Montana just getting ready to leave. We spoke for a few minutes, and that was it. I was alone, for three days a top a mountain camping out with about 100 wild horses and one of the healthiest populations of black bears and mountain lions in southern Montana.
Cloud was stallion that once lived here. His name is legend among wild horse aficionados, and I count myself lucky to have had the opportunity to see and photograph this most beautiful stallion in his meadow in the sky. Before leaving us, he sired many offspring that have grown into their own legends in this band of wild horses. And one of those, is most appropriately named Nimbus, and like her father, she too is a glowing white horse. This is Nimbus in the photograph, set high in the composition against a powder blue sky just as her name suggest she should be.