My Image Reflected in the Eye of a Meadowlark: Badlands National Park

The feature image was a surprise to me. It was not until I started editing the image did I discover that I was reflected in a bird’s eye.

Feature Image Details

I pulled off the side of the road to photograph Prairie Dog colonies near the Prairie Wind Overlook. A curious Meadowlark flew up near the car, perhaps 10 feet away. At first, it was in bright sunlight, not a good spot. I wanted the Meadowlark to hop into the shade and it did.

I already had my longest lens attached. I grabbed a few shots and it flew away. It may have been on the lookout for free peanuts that people toss to the Prairie Dogs.

What Would I Have Done Different?

I always ask myself what I could have done better. In this case, I could have had the car trunk closed to make the reflection better. I might have had brighter clothes on. I zoomed in to about 300mm but I could have come in even tighter. The image shown is cropped heavily, but it works because I have 30 megabytes to work with.

But realistically, I was not attempting to get my image reflected in a Meadowlark’s eye. It just happened.

Here are some more wildlife images from the Badlands, all taken with the 100-400mm lens.

Prairie Dog Badlands

Pronghorn

That shot was from Sage Creek Road, through the window of the car, with the window rolled down. If you get out of the car they will be long gone in less than a second.

Bighorn Sheep

I used my 100-400 lens for all the images on this page, a rarity lens for me.

Why? The weight.

I hike a lot and it is not a hiking kind of lens. It weighs over three pounds. If I am hiking more than 1-2 miles round-trip, it sits in the trunk unless I am 100% positive I need it.

At Badlands National Park you can get close to wildlife from the road. If you see something, pull off the road and shoot.

Equipment

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Additional Badlands Articles

  1. Badlands National Park Yellow Mounds Overlook, Big Badlands Overlook
  2. Badlands National Park Pinnacles Overlook: Sunset, Panorama, and Milky Way Images
  3. Badlands National Park – Double Rainbow at Pinnacles Overlook
  4. Badlands National Park – Castle Trail and Notch Trail Images

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Next Up: Monument Valley

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Joshua Tree National Park – Barker Dam – Autumn Reflections in December

The Barker Dam, also known as the Big Horn Dam, is a water-storage facility located in Joshua Tree National Park in California. The dam was constructed by early cattlemen, including CO Barker, in 1900. It was raised in 1949 by rancher William F. Keys.

I took this set of images on December 12, 2017. No one was more surprised than me to learn mid-December was the peak of Autumn. The willow trees were all glowing orange and yellow about a half-hour before sunset.

We got there late in the afternoon and it was a scramble to take as many different angles as I could in about 1/2 hour of time.

Feature Image Details

Additional Images

All of the images were taken with the same 24-105mm lens. The focal lengths of the images ranged from 24 to 98mm.

Nowhere else in the park has such beautiful deciduous trees.

Equipment

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Please Share!

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Much more coming: Click to Subscribe by Email.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Starved Rock State Park, Illinois: Illinois Canyon Autumn Reflections

This is another in a series of posts on Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois. The park is about 2 hours away from Chicago.

I took these images the first week in November of 2017. They are from Illinois Canyon, the longest and arguably the prettiest canon in the park.

There are numerous color variations and weathered details on the sandstone walls in Illinois canyon that are not present in other canyons. Also, the sandstone is not as carved up with fool’s initials as much as many other canyons.

The canyon floor can be muddy, especially in the Spring. I recommend waterproof boots, ankle high is generally sufficient.

The reflection images show the water you may encounter. It’s not that deep. but in Spring and Fall, it can be cold. There are several places one needs to cross water. Usually, you can find a spot that a waterproof hi-top shoe can navigate without getting wet.

Continue reading “Starved Rock State Park, Illinois: Illinois Canyon Autumn Reflections”