When I was up at the Niobrara Valley Preserve last week, I flew our drone a few times when the light was nice. It’s really hard to show the scale of this landscape by taking photos from the ground, and I’m having a great time experimenting with aerial photography in order to better illustrate that scale. Here are a few images from last week, taken right around the headquarters of NVP. I’m also amassing still and video footage of bison, but I’ll share some of that at another time.
We arrived at the Niobrara Valley Preserve yesterday in pouring rain. The road in from the south was nearly impassable and our data collection plans were scrapped for the day. As evening neared, though, the rain started to let off, and just as the sun was nearing the horizon, it popped out from behind the clouds. Suddenly, the entire Niobrara Valley was bathed in gorgeous golden light. I scrambled to get the drone up into the air.
The Niobrara Valley Preserve is already magical, but when you add that kind of evening light, it just becomes absolutely spectacular. Below is a 30 second video showing more of a panorama view of just one small part of the 56,000 acre property.
Thank you to everyone who supports our conservation work, both at the Niobrara Valley Preserve and elsewhere around the state, country, and world.
Special thank you to the Nebraska Environmental Trust for funding this effort through a PIE (Public Information and Education) minigrant, administered through the Nebraska Academy of Sciences.
Last week, Jasmine (one of our two Hubbard Fellows) and I spent a morning at the Derr Wetland Restoration here in the Platte River Prairies. We wanted to get some photos and video of the site before the latest snow melted.
…Ok, to be honest, we were mostly hoping to test out the capabilities of our new drone (UAV). Two of our Nebraska board members, Jim and Nancy Armitage, donated the funds to purchase the drone as a way to help us better capture our sites and the work we’re doing here in the state. We’re just starting to figure out the potential for drone photography, but I sure like what I see so far!
Here is a short 3 minute video of footage shot from the drone, followed by some still photos from the same morning. Both the aerial video and still photos provide powerful images, but the video certainly captures the context of the site in a way that’s not possible for me as I walk along the ground with my camera. I think the drone is going to be an awesome complement to the other ways we photograph and monitor our sites – it’s going to be exciting to keep exploring the possibilities. Stay tuned for future videos!
Click here to see the video on YouTube.