My Favorite Photos From Prophetstown From This Past Year
This was the year when I decided to visit Propehtstown State Park a bit more. I love that it is big, and that each trip seems completely different than the last. You literally could run into anything out there, and as a photographer that is exciting. Here are some of my favorite photos from Prophetstown from last year.
21. This is one that I really like, and I could put much higher. The flycatcher sitting on a thorny perch naturally framed. I walked up to this scene thinking that the bird would fly off, but it did not. I made a few photos quickly and then walked away thanking it for its time. Sometimes things just work out for a photo.
20. Here a mallard duck flies over me in some good light. We see these birds so much that at times you can ignore them because they are so common. I was glad that I made this photo.
19. As I was leaving one day I spotted this kingbird sitting on the barbed wire fence of the farm. The red barn in the background gave my photo a little different look that I really liked.
18. I never got too close to these egrets as they were fishing the little stream, but through this natural framing I was able to make this photo of one after just missing lunch.
17. The photo above as well as the photo above that were made from the exact same spot. In fact a few of the photos on this countdown were made probably in the same footprints as each other. This is a great little spot to see some interesting things. Here a spotted sandpiper flies by me. I had watched it from afar, but it decided to give me a close pass which is always nice.
16. I think that I make better photos while leaving Prophetstown sometimes than I do while walking out there. Here is a northern harrier hunting in the tall grasses that I made while leaving.
15. Another photo made while leaving, but this time of a dickcissel on some nice flowers. Maybe I should always just be leaving this place and I will make some nice photos.
14. I actually made this photo on the way back to my normal walking area. I was driving to the back when I saw this eastern meadowlark just perched on this stick. I usually can’t get this close to the bird so it was nice to finally have a good opportunity to photograph it. I have looked at this stick every time out there since with no luck.
13. I saw this horned lark with a bunch of others while leaving one day. This is a bird that I have wanted to photograph for a while because in the winter it still has a little color and that is always a good thing. Those horns always look cool too. I was laying next to the road on my belly to make this image. I am sure the people driving by had to wonder what the heck was going on.
12. I saw my first ever pheasant while driving out of the park one day. This guy just came up closer to me before deciding to run like a crazy bird away from me. For a couple of seconds it was a cool sight though. I have checked this spot every trip since with no luck. One of these days I will see it again.
11. Hey here is a photo that I made while walking the trails. This red bellied woodpecker gave me a nice pose while hunting for food. You can just see how it gets its name with that little red patch on the stomach.
10. Yet again here is a photo I made from my car as I was driving out of the park. This was made just a few feet from the parking lot. This dickcissel was posing nicely on this plant giving me a great background to work with. Keeping an eye out while driving paid off here.
9. This was made from my little spot just off of trail 3 where a few of these photos were made. After seeing some other cool sights along with this blue heron it decided to do some fishing. I came fairly close to me seemingly not bothered by my presence. It finally grabbed a little snack out of the water and shook it around. I love it when I can just hang with the herons. It didn’t seem bothered by me, and I enjoyed watching it hunt for food.
8. I have never had good luck with indigo buntings. This one though actually flew right by my feet before perching right next to me. I actually had to move back a little to get my focusing distance. It really wanted to be on the blog, and just for that effort alone it makes the countdown.
7. Do I have to say it? I made this photo while leaving the park. This dickcissel was just posing nicely off the road so I stopped and made a quick photo of it. The way that the ground slopes down helps give a great background when making images from the car.
6. I made this photo in a little patch of woods that always has a different kind of woodpecker in it. This time I had a great chance to make photos of the pileated woodpecker. I usually do not see these birds too close to me, but here I had two of them to watch and photograph. They were competing for food so I really did not matter to them.
5. Let’s say it together. I made this photo while driving out of the park. I was having an okay day photo wise, but this northern harrier made sure that I was having an amazing day. I saw a flash of wings by the farm and pulled off the road. The harrier was just walking the field trying to stomp something up. When a pony ran over to see what was up it went back into the air giving me some nice photos for my trouble.
4. I found a hole that some bluebirds were flying in and out of late in the fall. While waiting for the last bird to get out of the way of the hole this one was just hovering in the air giving me a great opportunity for a cool photo. The great light around mid December made it so I could make this photo fairly late in the day.
3. This was a great experience. While watching the heron that you saw above I heard some splashing. I looked over to find some river otters enjoying the water near me. I turned and made this photo not realizing what I had. You can see the frog hanging out of the bigger otters mouth. They checked me out for a while before continuing on. I have seen the otters a few times now, and it never gets old. They are really fun to watch, and hopefully they start getting used to me so that I can make more photos of them.
2. I really like how this photo turned out. A common yellowthroat was just hanging out on this plant as I was walking by. I liked how the plant looked, and all that I needed the bird to do was turn towards it. Thankfully it did giving me one of my favorite photos of the year.
- I was not driving out of the park when I made this photo, but I was done for the day and walking back to my car when I spotted this hawk just hanging out in a tree near the trail. As it moved around looking for lunch it came closer to the trail. Then it came closer still. It came close enough that I was able to make this portrait of it. I can never get this close to a hawk so for that reason I put it at number one on the countdown. It was a quick, but fun encounter.
I love putting these lists together. They can be great ways to help me see how I can improve my photography. What I always learn from putting the wildlife lists together is that I just need to get out there more. For the most part the way that I make wildlife photos requires a lot of luck. The more that you go out the luckier that you will get. This year I would like to visit the park more often so that my luck increases. I also want to see more of the otters.