Sunday, October 11, 2020

September 2020

Sumac red at Hartford Beach State Park

September 2020 was dry in South Dakota. Usually that means the fall colors come a bit early and a bit more colorful. While that was true, early September offered much beauty too. One of my favorite times to be a wandering photographic is when summer slowly gave way to Autumn on the high plains. Per my habit of recent years I was able to spend a full week west of the Missouri River at the end of September to catch autumn colors in the high draws of the Black Hills and open prairies. That annual trip is good for the soul. Here are 12 favs from the month that was. Please click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!         

Little bluestem in the evening light at Lake Vermillion Recreation Area

An early September sunset reflected in a slough near Hartford, SD

A red barn reflected on a still evening in Moody County, SD

A rustic cabin amongst shades of Autumn in the high country of Lawrence County, SD

5x6 Whitetail at Custer State Park

Autumn splendor at Hartford Beach State Park

Fall at the Cave Hills in Harding County

Slim Buttes Autumn - Harding County

Fall colors at Shadehill Reservoir - Perkins County

Mule deer at Shadehill

Shadehill road in Autumn

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

August 2020

Duncan church with wildflowers

As 2020 roles along, the world still seems like a mess, but the views out of doors are still as beautiful as ever. I put a lot of miles on this month. I found "new to me" wildflowers in the fens of the Prairie des Coteau of northeastern South Dakota. I encountered blazing sunflower fields and colorful butterflies adorning the plains. August has proven to be one of the more colorful months here in the upper midwest and this month's selection of photos proves that out. Click on an image for larger files to view and thanks for checking in!

Eastern-tailed blue butterfly

Monarch butterfly on a blazing star

Trumpeter Swan with wildflowers in the foreground

Macro photo of Little bluestem grass

Tall-grass prairie sunset

Lesser-fringed gentian wildflowers from a fen in northeastern SoDak

Doe and fawn in the evening light

Meade County Sunflowers with abandoned house


Harding County Pronghorn

Aphrodite fritillary on dotted blazing star

Saturday, August 1, 2020

July 2020

Dewdrops on a spiderweb

July of 2020 provided a unique opportunity in the night sky as comet NEOWISE appeared and was able to be seen with the naked eye. I spent a couple sleepless nights chasing the comet and the results of these trips and photo forays are seen in this month's favorite twelve images. From a lightning bug ball in rural Charles Mix county to the comet lined up over an abandoned church building, these comet hunts provided new inspiration as well as many opportunities for interesting photography in high summer. As always click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

Lightning bug ball in rural Charles Mix County, SD

Comet NEOWISe above Ravinia, SD

NEOWISE and an abandoned house in rural McCook County, SD

Hoary vervain wildflowers in tall grass near Lake Badus, SD

Vivid rainbow in rural Lake County, SD

White-tail family in soybeans

Sunset painted clouds over Island Lake

Trumpeter swan and cygnets in rural Deuel County, SD

Comet NEOWISE over Concordia Pioneer Lutheran Church in Roberts County, SD

Ruby-throated hummingbird nectaring on a leopard lily in the flower gardens of the Dells of the Big Sioux Park near Dell Rapids, SD

Sideoats grama florets

Saturday, July 4, 2020

June 2020

A distant rainbow with wind and shadow causing it to seem more like a watercolor painting in the eastern sky
 June in South Dakota offers a color explosion if conditions are right. Rainstorms, wildflowers, breeding birds, butterflies and deep sky objects are most prominent in June. This makes for one fo the best months to be out and about with a camera. It also makes for a wide variety of subjects to attempt to capture. Here are twelve of the most interesting subjects that caught my eye in June 2020. Feel free to click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for taking a look!

Yellow-headed blackbird backlit by the setting sun

Prairie fameflowers are tiny and only bloom for a couple hours each day

A skipper on a prairie rose

Rainbow after the storm clouds clear and the sun peaks back in

Macro of the inside of a prickly pear flower

Sweet clover and late day sunlight paint the Bad River breaks beautifully southwest of Ft. Pierre

Common Nighthawk

Sunset somewhere between Midland and Phillip, SD

Eleven minutes after midnight in the South Unit of Badlands National Park

Short-eared owl in flight

Juvenile short-eared owl hiding in plain site in tall weeds 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

May 2020

Silhouettes of a tourist and American Bison converge at sunset near a viewpoint along the Sage Creek Wilderness road at Badlands National Park
During the month of May, I was able to take get out often to look for birds, wildflowers and also travel for an extended weekend to the western side of the state. Spring on the prairie is a wonder to behold. New life, spring storms and epic views made for a very photogenic month... And picking just 12 photos to show here was quite difficult. A good problem to work though, in my opinion. As always, click on an image for a larger file to view and thanks for checking in!

Starry False Solomon's Seal flowers (also called Starry False Lily-of-the-Valley)

A young raccoon cub looking out of a tree stump

My first Blackburnian Warbler

The last of the day's light on Badlands National Park

Evening with a Badlands bison

Downy Paintbrush

Spring storm over Custer State Park

Morning dew on a phlox wildflower

Morning dew on grass

Parenthood Blue Jay style

Small white lady slipper wildflowers