|wild horses of Shannon County|
But some excitement was in store before our 5:30 wakeup alarm. Around 9:00 the storm began in earnest, with high winds, lightning, thunder and torrential rains. We had no cell service in the area, and particularly none at the cabin. The motel's wifi didn't even work there. Next the tornado sirens went off, so I quickly put on the television to find a weather report. There were tornado cells to the southwest of Eminence, tracking to the northeast. In other words, heading our way. Additionally, flash flood warnings had been issued for our town. As we were contemplating where exactly we should go to be safe, the satellite went out! We had no basement, of course, and no bathtub to climb into. We were in a small cabin, after all. We didn't know if it was safe to leave in our car, or if the town of 600 some people even had a storm shelter.
I relaxed a little when the tornado sirens ended, though in the pitch black I had no idea how quickly the nearby river was rising. But the sirens went off a second time, and I could only hope that the owners of the resort or the town sheriff would check on us if the river threatened to carry the cabin away. Needless to say, very little sleep was to be had that night between the stress and continued booms of thunder, and we were both awake before 5:00. At that point it was still too dark to see how much the river had risen during the night, but it wasn't coming in under the back door of the cabin so that was encouraging.
We gathered with our group a little before 6:00, and while the day was pretty gray the rain had fizzled out to a light mist. We loaded up in two cars and went to the first field to see if any horses were around. There was no chance of sunrise shots with the herd of three that we found, and the lighting conditions made taking pictures a bit of a challenge. As the day progressed the light improved somewhat. We spent an hour or so at this location before driving to a second field where around a dozen horses were hanging out.
|small herd of wild horses|
We went for a late breakfast, then headed to our respective rooms to rest up a bit. We were pleased to see the river was nowhere near our cabin, and we settled in to look at our morning pictures as we were to each bring several to the instructor's room at 2:00. When the group reconvened we reviewed photos, and were given suggestions on other things to try when we went back out at 5:00 to try for some sunset photos. While the sun did peek out for a bit late that afternoon, there was no sunset. All the rains from the last 24 hours did create a pop up pond in the field, though, and that made for some great reflection photos.
|larger herd of wild horses|
I think Jim summed it up best when he said to everyone, "Best Christmas present I have ever given my wife!"
|crystal ball horse photo|