Photo of the Week – February 8, 2013

I just got back from a trip through the Nebraska Sandhills.  The trip included a brief stop at the beautiful Switzer Ranch – home of Calamus Outfitters, a ranch family-owned business providing opportunities for bird watching, hunting, river floating, photography, and other activities.

Small mammal tracks across rippled sand in a sandhills blowout.  Switzer Ranch, Nebraska.

Small mammal tracks across the rippled sand of a sandhills blowout. Switzer Ranch, Nebraska.

It was late afternoon at the ranch, and light from the dropping sun was angling sharply across the prairie, including a large blowout full of the tracks of several animals.  (A blowout is a bowl-shaped area of actively moving sand.)  Though it was February, temperatures had been above 50 degrees F for a couple days, and it was clear that the warm weather had stimulated numerous creatures to emerge from dens to explore and search for food. 

They’d better make good use of their time – the weekend forecast calls for a return to snow and cold temperatures.