Sunday, December 31, 2017

December 2017

An early December sunset over a prairie windmill near Hartford, SD
This December was a month of extremes.  For the first three weeks, the weather was dry and quite warm across most of the state.  An early influx of snowy owls seemed to make their way across the whole area including a sighting right here in northwest Sioux Falls.  About Christmas time, the weather started getting colder and soon snow covered the whole state. As I write this, on the evening of December 31st, we are experiencing the coldest temperatures of the young winter season with teens below zero temperature actual and even colder with the windchill.  All this, plus a holiday trip to the western part of the state made for great month of photography opportunities.  It wasn't easy, but here are 12 of my favorites from the last of 2017.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

A snowy owl in a field on the northwest corner of Sioux Falls taken December 2nd

Sunset with a thin layer of ice over Lake Alvin Recreation Area near Harrisburg, SD

The fishing pier with an icy sunset at Lake Alvin

Close-up of a prairie windmill at sunset near Hartford, SD

Pre-dawn clouds over Badlands National Park

Spearfish Canyon after a snowfall on the Winter Solstice

Snow covered pine in Spearfish Canyon

A bluejay in Custer State Park

Snowfall on bison - Custer State Park

Snowfall on bison - Custer State Park

Another snowy owl sighting in northwest Sioux Falls on the last day of the year.  This time there was plenty of snow and sub-freezing temps to accompany the bird.  In this photo it is perched atop a four story apartment building and fluffed up against the cold temperatures.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

November 2017

Evening scene in rural Brown County on the southern end of Sand Creek NWR
When November comes around the daylight is less and most of the remaining evidence of the growing season has fled or is about too.  It seems I don't get as many chances to find good subjects to photograph, but then interesting things seem to happen on a free weekend or trips home for Thanksgiving... And the area I get to live in seems to always offer up new and unique things to photograph.  A little surprisingly, this month's collection of photos is one of the most colorful of the year.  There was some snow early in the month to the North and the end of the month showcased amazing sunrise and sunset colors.  So here are twelve of my favorites from the month that was.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by!

Bald Eagle taking off near Forestburg, SD

First snow in Sanborn County, SD

Took a road trip to Grand Forks, ND for work and found this beautiful steeple at sunset just to the southwest of town.

Some last Autumn color backlit by the late afternoon sun at Terrace Park in Sioux Falls

Terrace Park, Sioux Falls

A Minnehaha County rural sunset

The Little Church on the Prairie at The Joy Ranch just outside of Watertown, SD

The last light of the day shining through the dust of the late harvest  activity in Clay County, SD

Clay County sunset

Sunrise above Sioux Falls - looking south down Main Avenue

Another Sioux Falls sunrise photo with the Clocktower of the Old Courthouse Museum in the foreground.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

October 2017

Autumn color backlit by the evening sunshine at Fall Park, Sioux Fall, SD
The early part of October provided gorgeous color across the upper plains of South Dakota.  I didn't get out to explore it quite as much as I would have liked, but even so, there were plenty of photos to choose from when picking my favorite dozen of the month.  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in! 

Minnehaha County farm county in early October

Sumac at Big Stone Lake

A late season skipper at Hartford Beach State Park

Sumac beauty at Hartford Beach State Park

A large garter snake soaking up the autumn sunshine amongst the fallen leaves

Sumac red

St. Joseph's Lutheran near Rosholt, SD

Palisades State Park

Falls Park

A curious Ruby-crowned kinglet at Newton Hills State Park

Historic Brown Earth Church of rural Grant County, SD taken in late October for a video series I've been working on for Prairie Sanctuaries.  Check out the video here:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

September 2017

Sunset over Spirit Mound in rural Clay County, SD
September in South Dakota is a joy for a rambling photographer like me.  Summer thunderstorms give way to soft fall evenings as the month progresses.  Birds and butterflies make their way through the state on their migrations south.  The leaves in the high country start to change in the latter weeks, paving way for a colorful October and cooler weather.  It was an exceedingly hard month to trim my favorites into 12 photos this time.  I started with nearly 80 photos and some were very hard to leave on the cutting room floor.  That is a good problem to have I guess.  As always, click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

A beam of aurora that made it's way almost directly overhead and westward early in the month... taken a few miles northwest of Hartford, SD

The Painted Lady Butterflies were particularly thick this month.  Here is one on a sunflower at Lake Herman State Park near Madison, SD

Sunrise through the tall grass at Mokoce Washte Native Prairie near Wall Lake, SD

White Pelican at sunset at Dewey Gevik Nature Area also near Wall Lake,  SD

A mountain bluebird amidst the fall colors of southern Lawrence County, SD

Spearfish Falls at Savoy, SD

First light on Badlands National Park

Badlands Bighorn in the early morning light

A favorite fall view from Vanocker Canyon in the northern Black Hills

Autumn evening above Lake Oahe in Campbell County, SD

The Missouri River hills in Campbell County, SD

Sunday, September 3, 2017

August 2017

Sunrise on a hazy morning at Badlands National Park
August of 2017 was a month dominated by road trips, interesting skies and the Great American Solar Eclipse.  From sunrise in the Badlands to storm clouds over the flatlands of Eastern SD, the views were spectacular as usual.  Sprinkle in a couple nice wildlife encounters... Like my first bobcat in the wild at Badlands National Park and a trip to Poole, NE for a glimpse at the total solar eclipse... It was quite a month.  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!

Evening storm cloud in Moody County

Rural sunset in Minnehaha County near Wall Lake, SD

Storm clouds brewing over Zell, SD

Evening thunderheads with lighting as seen south of Bridgewater, SD

Sunrise in Badlands National Park

Bobcat at Badlands National Park

Sunrise at Badlands National Park

American Bison dusting itself at Badlands National Park

A second after totality when the sun starting coming out of the moon shadow during the Great American Solar Eclipse as seen in Poole, NE

Full white rainbow, or fogbow above Lowry Pilgrim Community Church in Walworth County, SD

Monarch in migration mode at Sica Hollow State Park