This year, winter didn’t coddle us. So long awaited snow, when it finally fell, melted at once. In February I started to lose hope the winter would come. That’s why when my friends told me in Bieszczady mountains was snowing, I decided to try my luck. I hit the bull’s eye! I spent a wonderful week, wading in snow up to my knees (what joy!), taking horses pictures in the mist and snowstorm, as well as in the sun, with hoary mountains in the background.
First, after a long break, I visited my favorite Haflingers in Konieczkowa Stud. I was welcomed by misty, wet weather and snow. I really missed the photo session I experienced there a few years ago – sunny, fristy, with snow and hoar. Althrough the weather conditions weren’t good, I didn’t go away empty-handed.
Despite of bad weather, my visit in a farm located in Osławica was very successful as well. Thanks to Ewelina’a and Artur’s sacrifice, walking with horses back and forth in a deep snow, I managed to capture marvelous views and crud face of Bieszczady’s winter. We couldn’t enjoy the sun, but I hope next time, it will accompany us.
I remember last session in Stary Łupków Stud mainly because of biting frost (-25 degrees) which made Huzul horses look like explorers of the polar regions during the expedition to the North Pole. This year, conditions weren’t so extreme, because the temperature oscillated around zero degrees. Nevertheless, also this time the session was full of unforgettable moments. Like then, when a herd of galloping Huzuls decided not to avoid the photographer who carelessly stopped on their way, and very nearly they might to run on my back. Andrzej was looking this Huzuls’ attack taking photos from the horseback and the scene took his breath away. Fortunately, there were a lot of funny moments as well, for example, when all horses were galloping from one end of the field to the other, apart from one piebald gelding, called, nomen omen, Nieborak (Poor Thing), who stayed alone in the middle of the hill, looking lost, following with his eyes other horses, as if asking himself, what’s for all this confusion. Or, when almost all horses started to roll about, and I stoped disoriented, not being able to decide where to turn my lens. I had a chance to photograph two extraordinary dogs as well: bernese mountain dog Aire and springer spaniel Szot – both belonging to the STORAT (Civilian Search Dog Association). First evening, while eating homemade delicious donuts with rose petal confiture (after all it was Fat Thursday…), I found out how search dogs training looks like, and the day after I could see for myself how they work – Aire found Basia – the owner of Szot, buried under the snow for training purposes, in the blink of an eye! It was a great experience.
Strzebowiska, a small village located in the heart of the Bieszczady mountains, was the next and the last stage of my trip. This place distinguishes with breathtaking views, pretty close to Wild West landscapes you can often see in Malboro advertisement. Our first attempt, when Krzysztof riding an old experienced mare intended to lead a group of youngsters to the viewpoint, was half-way successful because of another old mare who we allowed to run free with young horses. She quickly decided that she is not interested in admiring beautiful views and there is no place like home, so she started to come back to the stable, and obviously, all young horses imitated her. Only when we attached her to the Krzysztof’s saddle, we could continue without more problems. I really enjoyed these beautiful evening and morning with sun, mist, hoar and unique atmosphere.
It was very intensive and full emotion week. You will be able to see results before long on the web. I invite you to come back soon.