Chestnut-Backed Chickadee

Hearing the Chickadees calling in the trees above our heads we expected to look up and see either a black-capped or mountain chickadee as we had seen them earlier this day. However to our surprise we we greeted by this little Chestnut-Backed Chickadee looking down at us and hunting insects just above our heads.

The all about birds website starts their description of this bird by calling them handsome and I would have to whole heartedly agree with that.

Just minding your own business

A male Cinnamon Teal swims by looking ahead while we quietly sit and enjoy the view. Those days spent photographing wildlife, just sitting letting things swim, fly or walk by are some of our favorites.

Observing and being observed yet each going about their own business so to speak.

Quiet days in noisy times make for respite we all need.

Wishing you a wonderful and quiet weekend.

Spring Sandy

Just before it began to green the Sandhill Cranes made their way through our region.

Somedays you can only hear them flying high out of sigh in a cloudless spring sky. Somedays they are out foraging in wide-open farm fields just outside of town. Yet on this day we found a single crane blending into last years cattails in a shallow marshy area. Despite the lack of green a sure sign that spring was on the way.

Pasque morning

This is the time of year for the magnificent Pasqueflowers to bloom and brighten the hillsides, forests and meadows near town.

These flowers are part of the genus Pulsitilla family which contains numerous species spread across the globe and are the state flower of South Dakota. We noticed two distinct species while on a recent walk with both growing along the sunny hillsides and one growing just about everywhere in both sun and shade.

Hope we can get back out before they are done blooming and wishing you all a Pasque morning.


The Chukar , pronounced choo-karr. is a game bird introduced to North America and New Zealand from Eurasia. The Chukar typically inhabits high, dry and rocky terrain in Western North America. We have occasionally gotten a glance and sometimes a quick photo of them while out and about in the great basin region of the United States but our encounters were always short and to the point. That all changed a week ago.

While sipping our morning coffee this lone Chukar wandered into our yard. Probably an escapee from a bird dog training session or from a hunting ranch. This day we had a chance to observe and photograph this bird up close and for several hours as it hung around most of the day and into the early evening.

It was fun to get a good look at this Chukar however by days end they had wandered off into the sunset.