After two dry summers in a row, we may be finding ourselves on the upswing towards ending our drought.
Here are a few panoramic shots I took with my phone this morning in Wichita, Kansas.
My oldest nephew came for a visit last week and convinced me to take a late night fishing trip at our local reservoir. I’d caught a few small fish with my new fishing rig earlier that afternoon, but couldn’t quite find the fish I was looking for. It was a warm night without a breath of wind, so we waded out into the dark water as far as we dared, casting into the stillness.
No fish found our lures, but as we headed back to the shoreline, we noticed a small animal with a long fluffy tail near the water’s edge. After a lot of whispering, it was decided that we needed a flashlight and a camera – and quick!
I’d read an article recently about nighttime flash photography of wildlife, but wasn’t quite prepared to try it myself. Nonetheless, we worked out a plan where he’d locate the fox with the flashlight, and I’d quickly focus and snap a photo before the fox got scared.
Soon, we noticed not one, but two foxes exploring the rocks and beach around us! Both seemed unfazed in their hunting by the light and flash, and allowed us to take some decent photographs.
One of the things I am most grateful for is that I work outdoors. I frequently discover some amazing aspects of the prairie landscape, completely by accident. Many of these times, I’m waiting – and I spend those two or ten minutes catching up on emails on my phone or looking through a lens. Here are a few of the things I’d have missed this week, if I hadn’t been waiting.
Here’s a photo taken from my “real” job… A female walleye is being stripped of her eggs, which will be fertilized and then carefully cared for in a fish hatchery until they hatch into tiny fry, which will be stocked in reservoirs across the state.
Controlled (or prescribed) burns are an important part of prairie management for wildlife, reducing the amount of dead plant materials next to the ground, controlling unwanted weeds and insects, and giving the prairie new life. Today I had a front row view!
Eastern red cedars can be invasive, and one way to reduce their impact is through prescribed burning. This one went from fully engulfed in flames to ashes and a few wisps of smoke in less than a minute – it was impressive!