Sunday, October 6, 2019

September 2019

Burrowing Owl at Wind Cave National Park
It seemed that September was here and gone in the proverbial blink of an eye. Part of the reason was that most of us had our minds elsewhere in Southeastern South Dakota with multiple crazy weather events including tornadoes in Sioux Falls, flooding from Madison to Mitchell and on down the James River. I've never seen a summer so rainy and wet as 2019. All that plus a full slate of work at the day job made getting out and finding photographs a bit tougher than usual. Even so, it happened. I don't think I can stand to not be out in a nature at least once a week nowadays. I believe I've picked up a habit... but I don't think it is a bad one. Here are twelve favorites from the month that was September of 2019. Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in.

Bottle Gential wildflower in bloom

Gobbler and gobble-et at Lake Vermillion Recreation Area

Macro shot of a raindrop on a glaucous white lettuce bloom

Red-tailed hawk with a background full of blooming golden rod

Sumac as it looks in September

Monarch on golden rod at Sica Hollow State Park

Ghost pipe in the evening light at Newton Hills State Park

A late season storm cloud catching the sunset light beyond Trinity Lutheran of Lincoln County, SD

New moon night scene in rural Roberts County, SD

The beginning of fall in the Cheyenne River breaks in the four corners area south of Bridger, SD

Mountain bluebird at Wind Cave National Park

Saturday, September 7, 2019

August 2019

Sunset light beaming through a wild sunflower patch in Lake County, SD
This August a good chunk of my free time was spent walking through our Nature Conservancy Prairies in Eastern South Dakota... Usually with both my telephoto and macro lens at the ready. The summer of 2019 has been extremely wet and the prairie's responded with tall, thick grass growth, prairie flowers, butterflies and bugs galore. I tried my hand and finding and photographing flowering tall grasses as you'll see with the vibrant Sideoats Grama blossoms in the photo below.  While checking out these tall grass preserves I found plenty of other cool things to photograph too. You'll see these detail shots make up the majority of this month's favorite 12 photos. As the month waned, so did summer it seemed. It is a bittersweet time as we move into fall, but also filled with beauty. One of my favorite things to do in late August and early September is monitor the Monarch Butterfly migration as they gather then move south.  The last few photos show what I've seen so far... one evening's view on the prairie hills of Lake Vermillion Recreation Area even inspired a few words... It is the last image of the batch. Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

Sideoats Grama grass flowers

Prairie onion blooms

Skipper on a thistle bloom

Melissa blue on white clover

Whitetail fawn on the edge of a cornfield

Late summer thunderstorm

Lightning of the Falls of the Big Sioux River

Dragonfly darter on Bottle Gentian flowers

Regal fritillary, skipper and stinkbug on a prairie blazing star 

Monarch roost

Monarch on a blazing star in the early evening light

Summer's End

Thursday, August 8, 2019

July 2019

The setting sun painting storm clouds above Belleview Lutheran  northeast of Howard, SD

July of 2019 wasn't boring. Abundant rain, storms, heat, humidity all made for explosions of color and growth in this part of the world. I was fortunate enough to be able to chase a couple pretty amazing storms on two different weekends that provided amazing rainbows and sunset painted clouds.  My favorites from those trips are here for you plus a few more bits of July goodness. As usual, click on an image for a larger photo to view and thanks for checking in!

Close-up of Yellow Goatsbeard going to seed (we called them giant dandelions as kids)

Summer sun over Eminija Burial Mounds

Rainbow road north of Carthage, SD

Brilliant rainbow over cattle north of Carthage, SD

Double rainbow with abandoned house north of Carthage, SD

Belleview Lutheran with rainbow

Belleview panorama after the storm

Baby killdeer

Highland Lutheran with building thunderhead

Full rainbow over Immanual Lutheran west of Dimock, SD

Rainbow and lightning above Immanuel Lutheran

Thursday, July 11, 2019

June 2019

Dames rocket delight
Another June has come and gone. It is easy to fall in love with June and I will miss her. Long days, new life, sunshine, thunderstorms, rainbows and road trips. This June was a little different than others with more rain than most liked or needed and a little cooler weather overall. Even so, June is June and I find it hard be angry with her.  Here are 12 photos from the month to express my affection. From wildflowers to fawns, storm clouds to snapper turtles, what more could you want in a month?  Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

Prairiesmoke wildflower

American Avocet

White-tail fawn

Rain chasing the tractor

Memories of the past

8 miles of road

Sterling Methodist under a building storm

Codington county rainbow

A snapper's smile

Meadowhawk at rest

Country road double rainbow

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

May 2019

Great Horned Owl just after dinner time in rural Perkins County, SD
 May was here and gone in a seeming wink of the eye. Spring came late to the upper great plains, but it did and so did a variety of photo opportunities.  From southeastern South Dakota to the Badlands and Black Hills, I did take some time out of a busy month to stop and take some flower photos (as well as a few other things along the way).  Here are 12 of my favorite finds from the month. Click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by!

Red Admiral Butterly in a blooming plum thicket at Union Grove State Park

Momma raccoon in Palisades State Park

Baby raccoon at Palisades State Park

Hummingbird on Missouri Gooseberry blossoms at Palisades State Park

A Mallard family out for a swim at Covell Lake in Sioux Falls

Western Wallflower just beginning to bloom in Badlands National Park

Yellow Warbler in sunshine at Custer State Park

Rainbow over Wind Cave National Park

Misty morning at the Slim Buttes in Harding County, SD

Rain/mist droplets on a Prairie Smoke Wildflower in the Slim Buttes

Juvenile Great Horned Owl showing his nictitatingmembranes (second eyelids)