When Your Day Doesn't Go As Planned

One of my favorite things about taking photos is the fact that I never know what I’m going to find when I head out to shoot. Most days, I pack up my camera and hit a local garden, lake or nature trail with no plan in mind. I like to see what’s going on when I get there and shoot when inspiration strikes.

On this day, I packed up my gear with a specific goal in mind. I wanted to photograph some cotton fields near my house. When I arrived at the field I had in mind, the cotton was only just starting to blossom—the fields weren’t the sea of white I visualized in my head. Disappointed, I decided I needed to wait a few weeks and turned around to head home.

On my way, I saw a large field filled with grazing cattle. I immediately felt that twitch inside—that inner force driving me to go photograph them. So many times I’ve passed fields like this and thought, “Oh, I’ve already passed them,” or, “It’s such a busy street—where would I pull over?” or “I have things I need to do—maybe next time.”

I began talking myself out of pulling over, but then I thought, “Nope, you will regret not stopping!” I whipped the car around at the first U-turn I found and made my way back to the cattle. I parked in a random office parking lot, made the short walk to the fenced-off field (stepping in no less than three very large ant beds along the way), and made friends with these beauties.

They weren’t too sure about me at first, but once they realized I was harmless, they went about their grazing. The babies were the most curious, running up to me from afar to check me out. I tried to feed them grass, which they didn’t want, but the dark brown one did lick my hand. She was so sweet, and I fell head-over-heels in love with her. WFAA News even shared the iPhone photo I posted of her, so everyone else in the DFW area could fall in love with her, too!

Moral of the story—be flexible and seize opportunities! If I had my heart so set on the cotton that I didn’t keep my eyes open on the drive home, I might have missed these longhorns altogether. Also, I came so close to not turning around and letting the opportunity pass me by. I’m so thankful I spent some time visiting with these animals—it brightened my day and filled me with more joy than any cotton field probably would have.

I hope they give you a little joy, too!