Grasses are really starting to grow in our local prairies and early wildflowers are starting to bloom as well. That’s fantastic and it’s a welcome end to a long dry winter. However, it would be even more fantastic IF THE WIND WOULD STOP BLOWING FOR JUST A FEW HOURS PLEASE. Good grief.
Despite the wind, I’ve managed to get some photography done this month. I’ve already shared some of it, but here are some miscellaneous photos I haven’t put on the blog yet. Have a great weekend!
This is a drone photo of a wetland restoration project at the Platte River Prairies that I started working on in 2003 and have been able to watch ever since. When we started, it was an old sand and gravel mining pit surrounded by trees. Now, it’s a stream with side channels and backwater wetlands that is currently well-dammed up by beavers.
This is the same wetland as shown above photographed about a half hour after the drone photo as the sun was nearing the horizon. Tokina 11-20mm lens @11mm. ISO 800, f/22, 1/320 sec.
Here is one of many beaver dams that has currently transformed the stream channels in the restored wetland into bigger impoundments. Tokina 11-20mm lens @11mm. ISO 320, f/22, 1/125 sec.
Along the edge of the wetland, I had fun exploring some bubbles in the algae lining the banks. This photo was taken as the sun was right at the horizon. Nikon 105mm macro lens. ISO 640, f/10, 1/60 sec.
When I traveled to the Niobrara Valley Preserve to photograph sharp-tailed grouse earlier this week I arrived the evening before and scouted the blind to make sure I knew how to find it in the dark. Afterward, I stopped at a Sandhills blowout and photographed patterns in the sand created by this spring’s strong winds. Tokina 11-20mm lens @11mm. ISO 400, f/13, 1/125 sec.
I was getting sandblasted by the wind as I took these photos and was trying to protect my lens (and face!) from getting scratched up, but I really loved the patterns and photographed them until the sun disappeared behind a cloud. Tokina 11-20mm lens @11mm. ISO 320, f/13, 1/125 sec.
More of the same. Tokina 11-20mm lens @11mm. ISO 320, f/14, 1/100 sec.
And one final shot of the blowout. Tokina 11-20mm lens @11mm. ISO 320, f/14, 1/100 sec.
After leaving the blowout, I headed back toward headquarters but since it looked like the sun might pop out of the clouds one final time before hitting the horizon, I stopped at the Norden Chute on the Niobrara River. Here, the wind was blowing spray from the falls into my lens and face so I had to keep the lens turned away from the wind, squeeze off a quick shot, and then wipe the lens dry before trying again. Tokina 11-20mm lens @11mm. ISO 320, f/13, 1/100 sec.
After leaving the grouse blind on Monday morning, I checked the hills north of the river for pasque flowers and found a few blooming, including this one. Spring is here! Tokina 11-20mm lens @11mm. ISO 640, f/22, 1/200 sec.