We did some data collection at the Niobrara Valley Preserve this week. After we finished that work, we had an evening and early morning to do some wandering and photography before heading back south. Here are some photos from the trip.
There were several big bison bulls off on their own. Because the rut has started, we wondered if they were alone by choice or because they’d been pushed out by other stronger bulls. Nikon 18-300mm lens at 125mm. ISO 250, 1/160 sec, f/13.
Bigger groups of bison were more skittish than the solitary bulls and didn’t want to let us approach closely in our pickups. Here’s one of those groups photographed by drone. DJI Mavic Zoom drone.
Stick insect on cutleaf ironplant. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 320, 1/500 sec, f/9.
A moth on smooth sumac flowers. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 400, 1/50 sec, f/11.
Ashley Oblander (Hubbard Fellow) at sunset in the Sandhills. Tokina 12-28mm lens. ISO 250, 1/6o sec, f/22.
These dragonflies (I haven’t identified them yet) were really abundant out in the hills, which made me wonder if they were recent arrivals from a northward migration. Or maybe there was just a big recent hatch? This one was roosting in the grass after sundown. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 640, 1/100 sec, f/13.
I think this is the same species of dragonfly as shown above. This one was getting ready to leave its overnight roost when we found it early in the morning. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 320, 1/125 sec, f/9.
Ashley is photographing a bison wallow full of water as the pre-sunrise sky turned color. Tokina 12-28mm lens. ISO 800, 1/60 sec, f/9.
Robber fly on hairy puccoon. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 320, 1/250 sec, f/14.
Platte thistle flower with a horde of weevils. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 320, 1/125 sec, f/14.
I think this is the biggest wolf spider I’ve seen. The abdomen was about the size of my thumb. She was gorgeous. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 320, 1/60 sec, f/14.
Sandhills and sky is always a great combination. Tokina 12-28mm lens. ISO 320, 1/800 sec, f/9.