An Early Spring Visitor or Late Bloomer

A good friend called me over one day to tell me about a new visitor he had at his ranch. Well, it’s not exactly a new visitor, this particular Meadowlark has strangely been hanging around all winter despite having some of the coldest temperatures in recent years. Naturally, he’s become one of the family. Of course, when I heard about him I had to see him for myself. Well, he’s become pretty accustomed to the ranch and meal worms so he tends to follow Mike around as he works his cattle. The Meadowlark wasn’t as used to me but it was a cold day so we put some worms out and waited. After a while, he finally approved of me and the 600f/4 on the tripod so he came close enough so I could get a couple of photographs.

Last day in the Black Hills


Today was the last day of shooting here in the Black Hills. The week ended kinda like it started, with a drive around the wildlife loop. The great thing about this loop is the fence line that plays host to a number of bird species that we have been fortunate to play with this week. The Meadowlark and Mountain Blue Birds were definitely one of the more enjoyable subjects to play with. The Meadowlarks have such a color that cannot be missed nor should it be ignored.


Later down the road we found the Pronghorn and Bison that the park is just known for having. This trip showed just how much fun it was to get big game in the eye of the long glass. Especailly the Pronghorn, before this trip i had no great archive of shots, now i do. It amazes me how one week of shooting this species can be so moving. There’s more to shoot and far more to see but not this trip.

Images captures with D2Hs, 600f4, TC-14E, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Day two of boot camp


Today was day two here at Base Camp South Dakota and it was another great one. The day began with one of the creatures that really makes this place what it is, the Bison. Spring calf’s and their mom’s and big heard of them moving through. Early morning light combined with dark coats made for some great shots. These little guys are so much fn to play with because of their expressions. They are cute and playful everything one might expect from a newly born.


After the couple hours with the Bison we headed back down the wildlife loop towards the fence. Dad and myself got out our big lenses expecting to find the birds that perch on the posts and the wire. There is one sound that is truly captivating out here and that is the sound of the meadowlark. Their call can be heard every morning and it never seems to get old. It can’t be seen here but the chest is a vibrant yellow that stands way out. The combination of there posing and the colors make for some great opportunities.


After a great morning we went back to our rooms for some downloading, cleaning of gear and of course sleep before our nest classroom sesion. This one was on flash technique a very important issue that is a must for every photographer;  for me personnally a lot i don’t know and need to learn about. After the session we headed back out to the park to the afternoon shoot. One of the best critters in custer is the Pronghorn. There are so many different ways to shoot them, which makes them so versatile. This time the male came right up to us and thus we were able to capture some great portrait shots. This is one of my weaker ones just to give u an idea of how close they got. The day ended with a beautiful show by an Eastern Kingbird that excited the both of us, but will have to wait till tomorrow to see.

Images captures with D2Hs, 600f4, TC-14E, 70-300AF-S VR(Bison)on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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