Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Cute Little Fox

A fox kit near a den a few miles west of Sioux Falls, SD

Earlier this month,  a co-worker of mine, who lives in the Buffalo Ridge area west of Sioux Falls, told me that her family had noticed an active fox den in one of their hay fields.  She said there were three fox kits playing around the dens in the evenings.  Naturally I asked if I could come out and see if I could get a few photos.  The first evening, I saw nothing.  The next day I went out about 20 minutes before sunset when some clouds in the west starting blocking the sun making it really dark by the time I got to the den.  I was able to get this shot of one of the kits in the low light however:

I returned the following evening and had superb light to work with.  There was only one of the three kits at the den and he was just waking up so I was able to get fairly close in order to get some candid photos.  Cute little guy, isn't he?  Enjoy the photos and click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wild turkeys, wild flowers and more...

Three Toms and Lady
While in the western part of the state in late April, I happened to come upon various unique scenes and wildlife as I toured the backroads in my free time.  This post is a collection of images from those experiences for you as well as some random shots from East River the last month.  The first three photos of the wild turkeys were taken just west of the Cheyenne River and not too far from the semi-ghost town of Owanka, SD.  I had never seen Tom's in full display mode before, so it was fun to watch them try to woo about a half dozen hens.  Click on a photo for a larger file to view and enjoy!

A month and ten days since I saw my first pasqueflower of the year East River, I found this lovely patch high up in the Northern Black hills.

A yellow-bellied Marmot (or rock-chuck) sighting in the Northern Black Hills, which was also a first for me.  It reminded me a lot of a prairie dog.

Here is a nice stand of Blue Flag flowers (or wild iris, I think) on a roadside of Custer State Park:

Custer State Park deer

Sunset above trees near Keystone, SD

Star trails and painted clouds from the lights of Sioux Falls add a little drama to this abandoned farmstead near Montrose, SD.  I was working on a column about star trail photography in April for  The column (with more photos) is here if you are interested:

The "super moon" above the trees of Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in extreme southeast South Dakota.  This was taken on the evening of May 5th, when the moon was closest to the earth for the year 2012.

Gosling at Covell Lake in Sioux Falls over my lunch hour one day in late April.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ghost Town Hunting - Chapter II

The ghost town of Owanka, SD
The last week of April, I traveled to Rapid City for work mid-week.  On the way out and on the way back,  I was able to take some major detours in order to satisfy a few of my ghost town curiosities.  Another SD photographer (Robin Hao Gonzalez) had been posting shots of a little town called Owanka that intrigued me.  Come to find out, it is not that far off I-90 and just west of the Cheyenne River.  I found it on a hot (84 degrees), Wednesday at about three in the afternoon.  Not the greatest light to shoot, so I only got a couple shots from the ridge above.  Below is a shot with my long lens of the abandoned elevator.  I used the (new to me) photomatix plug-in in Aperture to get the black and white image of the same photo.  I think it looks pretty cool.  As always, click on a photo for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by.

Last December, I tried to find Tinton, SD as it was reported to be a ghost town with many buildings still standing (abandoned sometime in the 1950s). The problem was that it was located high up in the Northern Black Hills, so it was covered in a lot of snow and unless I rented a snowmobile, I was unable to get there.  So I decided to go and find it this time around.  I was successful, sort of.  I found the edge of town, but it is apparently located on private property and there were "no trespassing" signs posted quite clearly everywhere.  I resisted the temptation to explore further and shot the photos below from the road.  I'd love to go in and explore more down the barely visible road because if you look on google maps, the satellite photos show many more buildings beyond these.  I need to find out who to call to get permission to go back there.  If anybody knows, feel free to leave the info in a comment and thanks much!