Thursday, August 2, 2018

July 2018

Wild wood lily in bloom in rural Deuel County, SD
When looking back at all the photo opportunities I was presented in July, it makes me wonder how it feels like the month was just here and gone.  I guess when you are out enjoying the scenery the days go down faster than the setting sun. I was able to get in a trip to the Coteau Hills in the northeast early in the month, then a West River odyssey in the middle of the month.  The latter half of the month was quite busy at work here in Sioux Falls, so I only got out on weekends and late evenings, but even so, there were wonders to be found, both in the sky and on the ground.  Here are 12 of my favorite photos from July 2018. Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

A nighthawk lifting off in Sica Hollow State Park

Firefly activity over about 20 minutes of time at Newton Hills State Park

Twin whitetail fawns amongst the wildflowers at Custer State Park

Young burrowing owls waiting to be fed at Badlands National Park

Sion Hanson on a landmark of his family's land in rural Perkins County

Sion

Calvary Lutheran with the Milky Way in Clark County

A classic SoDak sunset above Renner, SD

A distant thunderhead beyond Hartford, SD

Evening light on a Monarch at rest - Dells of the Big Sioux

A full double rainbow after a brief rain shower south of Epiphany, SD

Saturday, July 7, 2018

June 2018

The first light after a severe storm beyond Trinity Lutheran of rural Charles Mix County, SD 
The month of June in my part of the world saw a wide variety of weather and wonders.  Large thunderstorms, days of gentle rain, flooding and heat. The old adage says that South Dakota is the land of infinite variety and June of 2018 proved that to be true once again. All that variety allowed for numerous chances to go out and find unique things to photograph. Here are twelve of my favorites from the month that was.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

Post storm skies over Academy United Church of Christ in Charles Mix County, SD 

Sunset with tall grass in western Minnehaha County, SD

Rain on grass at Lake Vermillion Recreation Area near Canistota, SD

Rain on a prairie rose petal at Lake Vermillion Recreation Area near Canistota, SD

A lead plant blooming at Spirit Mound Historic Prairie near Vermillion, SD

Storms brewing on the prairie of McCook County, SD

A double rainbow between storm cells in Miner County, SD

The storm approaches

After the storm in Hanson County, SD

Prairie coneflower in bloom at Lake Vermillion Recreation Area near Canistota, SD

Delaware Skipper on a blooming thistle at Lake Vermillion Recreation Area near Canistota, SD

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

May 2018

Bison, green river hills and a post storm sky at sunset in southern Lyman County, SD
When the late spring finally arrived for good in the upper Great Plains an abundance of beauty came with it. The month of May was alive with birdsong while blossoms bloomed, rainbows blessed and stormy skies spread incredible views. I spent a lot of time in the evenings and weekends watching it all unfold. What a joy to experience another spring on the prairies! Here are a dozen of my favorite images of the month for you. Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in.

Historic Benton Lutheran of rural Crooks, SD with an early May sunset

A prairie windmill in rural Lincoln County with a spring rainbow as a welcome background

A rose-breasted grosbeak among the wild plum buds at Palisades State Park

Small wildflowers amongst the new grass at Palisades State Park

A yellow warbler surveying his territory (and lunch options) at the Dells of the Big Sioux

A northern cardinal perched on a blooming decorative tree at Terrace Park in Sioux Falls

Distant storm clouds south of Presho, SD

I drove about 10 miles closer to get this color and drama in the same storm clouds as above. This was taken at the edge of the White River breaks south of Presho

The first light of day on Badlands National Park

My friend Eliza in a patch of wildflowers in Perkins County

A ruby-throated hummingbird displaying at Sica Hollow State Park

Sunday, May 6, 2018

April 2018

Winter's ice receding from the Oahe dam near Mobridge, SD in early April
April was a tough month in South Dakota. Winter lingered, then left, then returned. Then repeated the whole scenario a couple more times for good measure. Despite of, or maybe because of the weather there were some interesting images to be captured regardless. I was in the north central and central part of the state early in the month, then focused my attention around southeastern South Dakota for the remaining early spring winter weather. Whoever came up with the phrase, "South Dakota is the land of infinite variety, pretty much hit the nail on the head. It holds true for the landscapes, the wildlife and especially the weather.  So, here are my favorite 12 of the month for you. Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in! 

Greater Prairie Chicken "booming" on a lek in Fort Pierre National Grasslands

Meadowlark at Fort Pierre National Grasslands

Early April snow at the Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus

Cedar Waxwing during an April snow at the Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus

A robin puffed up against the cold during an April snow at the Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus

The first pasqueflower of the year in rural Hanson County

A pasqueflower that survived a mid-April blizzard

A pasqueflower standing strong above the snow and ice

A golden-crowned kinglet at Palisades State Park

A lovely spring sunset in rural McCook County, SD

Blue skies, green grass and a red barn at the end of April in Clay County, SD

Friday, April 6, 2018

March 2018

An abandoned country school with outhouse north of Miller, SD
March of 2018 has been colder and more wintery than the last handful of Marches.  The first half of the month I was quite busy following sports indoors with all the basketball seasons coming to an end. The last half of the month I tried to get out and witness the waterfowl migrations that pass through every early spring, but there were only a handful of good weather days to choose from.  Finally at the end of the month I was able to travel through the state to go visit family for an early Easter so had a couple more opportunities to shoot photos then.  All that equates to my favorite twelve photos of the month posted here.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

The Denny Sanford Center at near capacity for the USD v SDSU Summit League Championship game in Sioux Falls

A bald eagle perched on a icy tree near Silver Lake north of Freeman, SD

Thousands of snow geese near Freeman, SD (This is what the bald eagles are following this time of year)

One of two snowy owls north of Emery, SD I was surprised to see while out and about.  Seems late for them to still be around in the middle of March.

The 2nd Snowy Owl north of Emery, SD

A rare (nearly) clear sky sunset with geese flying north

Sunset over Highway 42 a couple days after the first day of spring

A red-winged blackbird taking flight in western Minnehaha County, SD

A couple ducks escaping into the sunset near Humboldt, SD

A bald eagle in flight north of Miller, SD

Abandoned north of Miller, SD