Tuesday, March 17, 2020

February 2020

Sunset light above Lake Madison Lutheran of rural Lake County, SD
I wasn't able to get out much in February. I took a long drive on a Saturday in the middle of the month after a large snow and wind event in the northeast part of the state to look for snowy owls. I did not locate any, but was able to capture some interesting views of the snowy vistas as you'll see in this column.  Then the month ended up with prep work for basketball tournament time in Sioux Falls. I did some time-lapse work with the Arc of Dreams sculpture that arcs over the Big Sioux River between 6th and 8th Street, downtown Sioux Falls. I also started to shoot action photos of the NSIC basketball tourney. The first game saw a full house between Northern State and Augustana and shooting action photos with a full crowd always makes for better photos so I'm including few of my favs from that February 29th afternoon as well. As alway click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

Snowy patterns and designs

Deer and plenty of snow in the Coteau Hills of Deuel County, SD

The old Glenwood community building surrounded by winter

A snowman using the biffy out back?  Possibly.

A late winter sunset in rural Lake County

A barbed wire evening scene in rural Lake County

A yellow bus passed in front of the Arc of Dreams during a two second exposure. This image was taken from the 6th Street bridge and part of a time-lapse sequence.

The Sioux Falls Pentagon nearly full for the first NSIC tourney game

Parker Fox of NSU about to dunk

The Sioux Falls Pentagon

Another dunk about to hammer home from St Cloud State over Upper Iowa

Sunday, February 2, 2020

January 2020

An early January sunset just east of Dell Rapids, SD
Typically January is a hard month to find time and good weather for outdoor photography enthusiasts. This year, however, the weather seemed to cooperate on my free weekends so I had plenty of photos to choose from when picking my favorite 12 of the month. From colorful sunsets to peaceful snowfall days to frigid sun dogs at the end of a good, old-fashioned ground blizzard, the first month of 2020 was all over the place... And that was OK. All I needed was a good pair of long johns, warm winter gear and a long lens to let the deep winter fun commence. Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

Same sunset clouds as above but about five minutes later into the evening.

An American Tree Sparrow in the tall grass at Good Earth State Park

Snowfall at Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon

Snow on a Downy Woodpecker at Big Sioux Rec Area

Snowfall on tall grass at Big Sioux Rec Area

The Arc of Dreams lit blue and red for the SD Showdown series (SDSU at USD Basketball games)

Jack Frost's handiwork during an all-day blizzard

Sun Dogs west of Sioux Falls as the blizzard waned

Sun Dog sunset west of Wall Lake

A January thaw produced this water droplet melted from an overnight frost at Good Earth State Park

Late January sunset over frosted and iced grass

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

December 2019

Frost and snow adorn a red barn in rural Grant County, SD
December is always a busy month and 2019's version followed suit. End of the year projects and tasks at work, trips home for the holidays mixed with the early winter fog, frost and snow not only made the month fly by, but provided some fine opportunities to find photos out in the great wide open. I was given a small lens ball by a "Secret Santa" at work and you'll find a couple photos in this post where that was used. It is amazing what solid ball of glass can do for pushing creativity as well as exploring new ways to see the world.  Click on a photo for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by!

Single leaf frozen on the edge of Lake Alvin, near Harrisburg, SD

Composite image of the single leaf to create "leaves of many colors"

Zero degree sunset over Zoar church in rural Day County, SD

Lens ball at Covell Lake in Sioux Falls, SD

Winter sunset with the lens ball and old wooden fencepost just west of Sioux Falls, SD

Christmas Eve frost with a white-tail buck east of Houghton, SD

Bison at first light in Wind Cave National Park

Frosted Bison bull

Jackson County sunset (Stamford area) 

Chickadee at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls after a late month winter storm

The last sunset of 2019 as seen on the Moody and Lake County Line in the Rutland, SD area.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

November 2019

A Bighorn Ram on a mission at Badlands National Park
It is hard to believe November is over. Not counting shooting sports, I was only out having fun with my camera a handful of times. Even so, a trip across South Dakota early in the month to Harding County to watch my nephews win a playoff football game made for a great opportunity to travel through some of the most ruggedly beautiful parts of the state. I hit Badlands National Park on both the way out and back and travelled a few back roads in Meade County as well. These excursions yielded encounters with raptors of all sizes including bald eagles. I witnessed excited Bighorn Rams guarding their territory as the rut was on. I also saw (and took portraits of) a prairie rattlesnake that, for some reason, was not yet cozy in its den. I nearly drove over him on a gravel road on a mild and sunny afternoon near the Belle Fourche River. Afterwards, I took in one of the best South Dakota Sunsets at Badlands National Park that I've seen for some time. All in all, it was a good November for photography despite the end of the warm season and the oncoming of winter.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in.

Juvenile Bald Eagle in flight

Prairie Rattlesnake potrait

Badlands National Park from the Conata Basin Road

Moonrise over Badlands National Park

Golden hour light at Badlands National Park

The last of the sunlight at Badlands National Park

Sunset over Badlands National Park

Sunset over Badlands National Park

Sunset over Badlands National Park

Northern Cardinal at the Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon

A lone tree on the prairie north of Miller, SD on my way home from Thanksgiving break.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

October 2019

A regal American Bison roaming the high plains of Wind Cave National Park
October of 2019 seemed to be a moody month. Early snow and intermittent rain showers kept the green around longer than normal. Just as the trees started to turn, cold and windy days swept over the northern plains. The result was a feeling that the autumn season seemed to barely touch down this time around. I was able to get out to the Black Hills early in the month for my annual trip to look for fall beauty. Later in the month I spent three evenings along the flooded mud flats of the Big Sioux River near Brandon to play around with fall color reflected in still water.  All and all, it was a fun month for photography. Here are twelve of my favorites from the excursions. Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by.

Yellow coneflowers were still in bloom in early October in Custer State Park 
A cool morning mist over Legion Lake

With the temperature hovering around freezing, the rain that fell along Needles Highway in Custer State Park began to freeze on the fall foliage

Frozen water droplets on red underbrush at Custer State Park

A late season aster with raindrops in the Black Hills

Fall color along the south fork of the Grand River in Perkins County

Early snowfall at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls

Autumn reflections at the Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon

Autumn reflections at the Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon

Autumn reflections at the Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon

Autumn reflections at the Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon