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Category Archives: Photography

My wife and I love to drive the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park. We usually see the same cast of characters but every once in a while we are surprised. Buffalo are of course the main attraction. In the spring you have a great opportunity to see the young. For some unknown reason the young seem to like to feed in the middle of the road thus creating a traffic jam. In the spring the bulls are hanging out by themselves or with small groups of bulls.

The second most popular attraction is the Begging Burrows. They can usually be found north of the north roundup viewing area. There were no you burros around but a number of the females looked pregnant.

We were lucky to see a number of Pronghorns but no young. A posting from the park indicated that folks started seeing the young a week after our visit.

We also saw a few deer in the park.

Prairie Dogs are common in the park.

We normally try to drive out past the park airport early in the morning. The light is good and the birds are out and about. This is a great place to see Mountain Bluebirds.

The Mountain Bluebirds have the same problem as the Eastern Bluebirds. Their house is just the right size for the Tree and Barn Swallows. It seemed there were fewer bluebirds this year because the swallows occupied most of the houses.

There were quite a few Meadowlarks around.

This was the first time we saw Upland Sandpipers in the park. We saw them on a couple of occasions. The one on the fence post was with the bluebirds.

 

Red-winged Blackbirds were around.

We stopped at the Blue Bell Lodge for a bite to eat and noticed five Turkey Vultures sitting in the trees around the lodge.

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We happened to be in Duluth, Minnesota on Wednesday night so we walked down to Canal Park to watch the sailboat races.

 

On the 4th of July the ship State of Michigan Entered Duluth Harbor and docked. It is a training ship. It is a training and laboratory ship operated by The Great Lakes Maritime Academy located in Traverse City, Michigan.

 

On a recent foggy morning I walked down to Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota to photograph the Aerial Lift Bridge. These are some of the photos from the morning.

 

 

There are quite a few flowers blooming on the Red Cedar State Trail.

Dame’s Rocket

Blue Flag Iris

Buttercup

Birds-foot Trefoil

Canada Anemone

Common Yarrow

Daisy

Wild Rose

 

We recently stopped at Pipestone National Monument on our way to South Dakota. It was late in the day so the visit was brief. There is a loop trail in the park and we took the right branch which took us out into the rocks. Pipestone is a sacred place to the Native Americans who shared the site so they could quarry stone for their pipes.

When we reached Winnewissa Falls we discovered that the trail to the falls was closed. Apparently spring storms had damaged the bridge and the Park Service had not been able to repair it because of the high water. We backtracked to the visitors center and followed the Pipestone River back to the falls. There was quite a bit of water flowing in the river.

 

There are a variety of flowers blooming this wee. The most prominent are the Wild Lupine and the Prairie Smoke. Orange Hawkweed, Goat’s Beard and Blue Flag Iris are also blooming. I used to see a lot of Blue Flag Iris around but most of it seems to have dissapeared.

I managed to photograph a few birds. I haven’t seen any Eastern Bluebirds nesting this year. Most of the nests seem to be occupied by Tree Swallows.

There were a pair of Canada Geese nesting this year. We were on a trip when they started sitting on the eggs. They were still on the nest until the end of this week. Most of the Canada Geese hatched their young two or three weeks ago and we were concerned that something was wrong. The first shot of the male was taken a couple of weeks ago. The second shot was taken of him earlier in the week when he was near the nest and looking depressed. When we went out yesterday both adult geese were gone and we couldn’t find any young. We concluded there was a problem and the young did not hatch.

Some additional wildlife around. This White-tailed Deer took of running. There were also a few butterflies around.

The grasses are also blooming in the prairie area.

 

Love to photograph the spring leaves.

 

 

One of my favorite photography subjects in the spring is backlit leaves. The back lighting gives the leaves a translucent appearance.