As a photographer in the Plains, when I see a forecast with light winds, I do my absolute best to get outside with a camera. This night in May was no exception. The sun was going down, the wind was nearly non-existent, and I was searching for something to put in front of my camera. Though my hometown is surrounded mainly by cropland, I’ve got a pretty good selection of prairies and wetlands within 15-20 minutes of my house. This photo was taken from a small wetland pocket in a Fish and Wildlife Service prairie/wetland restoration project.
First light is a great time to have a camera in hand, especially when there are a few clouds on the horizon to diffuse the sunlight slightly . In this case, the sun was so low that only the tops of the wetland plants were lit up.
Springer Basin is one of hundreds of shallow wetlands scattered around south-central Nebraska. Called “rainwater basins,” they are created by many years of wind scouring the soil away from underlying clay soils. They fill with water when it rains or snows and provide great habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl, and many other wetland creatures and plants – until they dry up again.