Madelyn Reaches IEA Nationals: Seeking Sponsors

MPV No FearOur daughter, Madelyn, is going to the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Nationals next month in Florida, riding with the Full Moon Farm Middle School Team that just placed first in the Zone 3 Finals last weekend. This is a costly endeavor, and one we did not anticipate happening so soon. We have started a GoFundMe drive to help defray the costs.

As an incentive, I am offering the following gifts to our sponsors:

For a $35 donation or higher, I will print, sign, and deliver any 8 x 10 of my original photos, suitable for framing, that you might like. Many of them are on Facebook. If you are looking for a particular print (Nature, Wildlife, or Structure), I will be happy to share my photography with you.

For a $75 donation or higher, in addition to the free print, I will reserve a signed and numbered pre-release copy of my latest novel, Fossil Five (to be published in November 2015). You will receive the book before it is released to the general public.

For a $125 donation or higher, in addition to the free print and the signed book, I will provide one free hour of tutoring/coaching for writing.

Amy and I are incredibly grateful for your support. Please see our GoFundMe page for more information. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Once again, the link to the GoFund Me page is


The Story Behind The Picture: Solitary Pony on Assateague Island


Solitary Pony on Assateague Island. Photo: rus vanwestervelt, 2010.

My buddy Brad and I were in Ocean City, MD with our families, and we decided over dinner one night that we would head in to Assateague Island, MD the next morning to get photos of the horses on the beach at sunrise.

The weather, itself, did not disappoint. An agitated swirl of cirrus clouds preceded the rising sun, and we were treated to a beautiful pre-sunrise that left us somewhat breathless.

The only problem we faced was the lack of wild ponies. In fact, we couldn’t find a single one.

After our initial shoot of the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean, we headed back toward the Jeep to pack up and see if we could find any herding ponies in the dunes (we eventually did). As we started to get into the Jeep, we turned to give the rising sun one more look.

To our shock, a small herd of ponies had appeared on the dune’s horizon, and we immediately began taking photos.

This was the last one I took, pulling back as far as I could to get the rising sun and solitary pony at opposite ends of the frame. I knew when I depressed the shutter that it would end up being one of my favorite photos that I have ever taken. Today, that still stands true.

I guess it pays to keep looking up, keep living an attentive life, and keep capturing the beauty that exists in each moment. I am grateful that we looked up to see such beauty.