It’s an early start to the day as I drive through the autumn mist along the A68 heading for Kelso – I’ve a sneaking suspicion that it’s going to be a beautiful sunrise, meaning I need to find time for a quick photo.
The location is the first field of the Scottish Borders Donkey Sanctuary (SBDS) at St Boswells. Today’s the day I will finish the last picture for the 2015 charity calendar.
As I jump the fence, the donkeys are at the bottom of the field, behind the mist, an orange sunrise breaking behind them.
Typically inquisitive, they start to wander my way. One breaks forward and heads towards me, then Lilly appears through the haze, Wogan and Molly trailing behind – and I have the picture I’ve been waiting for.
Creating images for a Donkey Sanctuary calendar has been on my mind for some time, after occasional visits over the years while I was working as a photographer at The Scotsman.
Changes in circumstances and a request from SBDS manager John Wilson meant I finally had the opportunity and time to go ahead. So on a glorious summer’s day in June, my young son and I went for a visit.
As we walked together around the fields heading towards St Boswells, first up were Dillon, Boab and Rye, whose image opens the calendar in January, Dillon taking centre stage with his long pricked-up ears.
Along the track was Shaggy Sean, Mr July. On our next visit, we spotted Josephine, my son’s favourite, laying in the long grass with the sun on her back. She takes the December spot.
Hopefully, as the months of 2015 pass by, people will look at the pictures and remember what good work the volunteers do at the sanctuary.
The calendar is on sale at the SBDS at St Boswells, and online at www.donkeyheaven.org priced at £5.