Tuesday, December 06, 2011


On my way out of the Black Hills today, I finally found one (1) member of the Bighorn species, a lone ewe grazing near the Custer State Park Visitor Center. I hung around for a few minutes to see if more of the flock would appear, but they didn't. So I guess the sighting of the day was a couple of coyotes roaming the fields. (Or was it my first-ever ID of a prairie chicken?) Click on the yote image to start the slide show.

After four months living in downtown Chicago, I was struck by the magnificent desolation of South Dakota, especially this time of year when the bikers and other tourists are long gone. I-90 across the state was devoid of traffic. When I was photographing the eagle, I was parked on the shoulder of a state highway for 25 minutes and zero (0) cars came by in either direction. If you want to get away from it all, South Dakota in winter...or late fall if you want to get technical.


Monday, December 05, 2011

As Long As I'm Here

While checking on my trail camera, I took a few snapshots around Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park. An eagle I'm sure I've seen many times before was one of the main subjects, along with some pronghorns, turkeys, and prairie dogs. Update: On 4/10/12, I drove past this tree, which is (was?) my favorite dead tree. It looked as though it had been hit by lightning because the top was shattered and the were big limbs on the ground. No sign of the eagle, so apparently the both of us are going to need to find a new favorite dead tree.

I've been looking for Bighorn sheep in the usual locations in Rapid City and Custer SP, but haven't found them. I've got one more loop through the park Tuesday morning, so this photo group might not be complete yet.



Elk on the Trail

Way back in July I planted my new trail camera in Wind Cave National Park. I was finally able to retrieve the images today and was happy to see almost 1,300 images on the card. Upon further review, it turns out that the first 500 images were snapped between 2 and 3 hours after I left the camera on July 2. Good thing I didn't wait until July 3! All of the daylight shots in this slide show were taken on that first day. The nighttime shots were scattered over the following three months.

It was a good location, but it was hard to get to (and hard to find again without my GPS) so I moved it to another promising location a few hundred yards away where I saw elk grazing and resting today. The batteries were still at 78% and the memory card will hold tens of thousands of images, so maybe I will leave it there until June. Click on the images to start the slide show.

Update 2023: Twelve years later and these are still some of the best images I've ever gotten with my trail cameras.


Sneaking through