Kim and I spent a few days at the Niobrara Valley Preserve this week, something that has become an annual holiday tradition for us. As always, it was beautiful, peaceful, and we were alone in a big wild place – the three components of a perfect getaway. We saw plenty of wildlife, including multitudes of eagles and deer, as well as flocks of meadowlarks, robins, tree sparrows, and grouse. In addition, tracks of many other animals were abundant in the recently-fallen snow. I kept hopeful eyes out for mountain lion tracks, but didn’t see any – though I did have a strong sense of being watched one night, while out photographing night scenes under a half moon. It wasn’t just the cold temperatures that made me shiver a little.
I spent one particularly nice hour or so exploring the partially frozen river one morning, and was able to get some photos before heavy overcast skies took over. The temperature was hovering around zero, but it was nevertheless a pleasant calm morning. I enjoyed the solitude and sunrise and then walked back up to a hot breakfast before Kim and I headed out for a longer hike. Here are a few photos from my sunrise walk.
I wish you all a wonderful and happy new year; something I’m very much looking forward to myself.