Since 1998, I had photographed "Rose" and her companion the following years pretty much consecutively, either in the early Spring or late Fall, while traversing up and down the back roads in Wabaunsee County along the Eastern edge of the Kansas Flint Hills.
In June 2002, it became apparent that the two "friendly horses" that I had fondly petted and talked to, who had posed and stood so still for me, while the sun was setting or during a warm Fall afternoon, were no longer greeting me as a pair, but as one, as I got out of my Jeep, camera in hand.
I clicked the shutter and took a few photos on that day, paused and looked and looked for the other horse. My eyes seached every acre of that area that I could see. Shortly thereafter, as I was about to depart, I noticed a white cross along the roadside and the name "Rose" in red. I knew then that something had happened to Rose.
My heart ached at thinking what may have occurred to her and thoughts of the long cold Winter lingered in my mind as I looked for all the photos that I had taken of this pair since 1998. At the time I couldn't seem to get them assembled together.
Today I have received word from the owners, that Rose was shot and killed by someone on January 20, 2002 (one day after my birthday).
To the individual who did this, you will never know, much less
fathom, how much that horse meant to the owner and his wife - it
brought a joy to me to photograph Rose and share the photos with
the World, but to the owners it was part of their family, that
they shared with all of us who drove by the field and pasture
where these horses were tended, and could always be seen and
enjoyed. No longer will I or others have the opportunity of
sharing Rose, who was as much a part of the Kansas Flint Hills as
the blue stem grasses that she grazed upon.
Rose was a beautiful mare and I will miss seeing her standing tall in the sunset, as I did the very first
time in the Kansas Flint Hills.
September 22, 1998 - "Sundown in the Flint Hills"
April 4, 1999 - "Springtime in the Flinthills"
May 12, 2001 - "Dusty Roads, Rocks and Lizards"
June 2, 2002
Rose's companion warmed up to me after I walked to the fence, but there seemed to be a little sadness in
his eyes. In the second photo from the right he raised his right leg and then leaned over the fence
and allowed me to pet him. He's just as nice a Rose was.
All photos © 1998-2002 by don Palmer