Sunday, September 23, 2012

Badlands in September

Three Bighorn rams graze near a prairie dog town in Badlands National Park.

It has become a common practice for me to detour through Badlands National Park on my way to and from the Black Hills.  Last week Sunday and the following Saturday was no exception.  I was lucky enough to get close to wildlife on both occasions as well as capture a little fall color this time around.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by!

Badlands Boys Club (a bachelor herd of Mule Deer near the Quinn road)

A coyote loped by me as he hunted in one of the many prairie dog towns on the way to the Sage Creek Wilderness Area.

Bison just before sunset at the Sage Creek Wilderness Area.

On my return trip yesterday morning, I was able to capture some of the fall color in the draws of Sage Creek Wilderness Area.

Bison dot the flat lands beyond Sage Creek proper.

Another coyote came out of the badlands and into a prairie dog town as I was driving by.

Fall color with the Badlands formations on the horizon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Late Summer Thunder (and Lightning)

Ominous clouds and rain ahead  of the setting sun over an abandoned farmstead between Spencer and Salem, SD.
The evening of September 4th saw a swift moving thunderstorm system move through the southeastern part of South Dakota.  The 2012 storm season didn't amount to much this year so I decided to drive west to meet the front and see if I could get any interesting photos.  This post consists of my best shots of the night. Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by!

Sunset colors paint the backside of a thunderhead south of Spencer, SD.

An old barn with with a lightning strike in the background.

A couple shots of lightning an another abandoned house north and a little west of Salem, SD.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Cutting Room Floor

Water skiing at sunset at Little Moreau Recreation Area in July.
My summer photography has been focused on South Dakota State Parks for my online column over at (  Typically an average of 20 or so photos are posted with each column. That means interesting shots are sometimes left on the cutting room floor.  This happens mostly because I have similar shots already picked out and I'd rather show a variety rather than four different angles of the same flower. That said, I decided to post some of my favorite shots that were edited out of the columns on this post as I still like them.  Click on a image for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by!

Fawn at sunset at Little Moreau Recreation Area in early August.

A crab spider perched on a sunflower.

A couple shots of a wildflower I couldn't ID for sure.  A friend of mine thinks it could be a dotted gayfeather but I'm leaning towards western ironweed... which appears to be a showier version than just regular ironweed.  Either way, it is a cool looking flower.

Rain drops on leaves at Lake Alvin Recreation Area after a light shower went through in the morning.

Sunset at Lake Alvin's fishing dock.

A couple versions of me experimenting with long exposures at the boat dock at Lake Alvin.  I had the shutter open for 25 to 30 seconds and walked into the shot with a Colman lantern (on dim) and then painted my silhouette at the end of the dock with a flashlight once I got there. Being able to see the Milky Way in the southern sky this close to Sioux Falls was an added bonus.