Everything about Wednesday night’s photo shoot was new to me. And not so much Nature Coast, and probably the farthest thing from wildlife. Old Palm Harbor is not strictly part of the ‘nature coast’ per se. I’m fairly sure it would be considered part of the Tampa Bay designation. But the area was charming, at least in the dark, with it’s small neighborhood feel. The restaurants with their lights, and teeming with people, looked so enticing that I wanted to go into them all. The next time my friend Kathy visits we will. But the hordes of people wasn’t the norm for a Wednesday evening. No, we had been drawn to the area on this very chilly evening because of these magnificent animals.
The Clydesdales. They hadn’t even gotten off the trailers and they were displaying their big personalities. They played to their audience.
The Clydesdales were in town for the 50th anniversary of the local beer distributor, and they made the rounds of the local restaurants, delivering beer in style. It was quite a sight to see, but tougher to photograph. Once they were underway the crowds made the photo ops a lot more difficult. Even if I’d had my tripod and knew how to adjust for the darkness better, (ironically this Saturday’s class is on shutter speed, which is what I needed to adjust for the circumstances), I’d have gotten elbowed out of the way. So I was glad that I concentrated my shots on the process of unloading and hitching up the Clydesdales. Clearly the two lead horses were chosen as much for personality as for their beauty, because all the horses were equally gorgeous. But no, those two were hamming it up for the photographers in the crowd, no one will ever convince me that they didn’t know exactly what they were doing. And they did it well.
It was amazing to see how patiently the horses waited as they were hitched to the wagon one by one. The first horse in had to stand there while seven more horses were hitched up. He was a champ. I looked down to see their hooves, and it occurred to me that there were plenty of people in flip flops, (crazy people, I hope their toes didn’t fall off), within feet of these horses. They were unflappable. Barking dogs in the crowd, (really?), and camera flashes in their faces were all in a day’s work to them.
I had considered bailing out on this event because of the hour-long drive, and the chilly temperatures, but I’m glad I didn’t. They will also be appearing in Tampa and St. Pete this weekend, so if you are in the area and would like to see them check their website. I was going to give a link to their schedule but the only one I found wasn’t current, but there are a lot of pages available if you Google the Budweiser Clydesdales. This photo op popped up at the last minute, spotted by a member of the group. Props to them!Every de-tail was perfect!