Sunrise and Prairie Dogs

Early one morning while visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park I was driving and noticed fog down the river valley at the park. The next morning I planned to be in the park and ready to shoot some photos should the fog return. It sort of returned so I pulled over to a spot along the road and walked through the mud and wet grass to get to the river bank. The fog wasn’t as nice as it was the previous morning, but it was there. There are also several bison in the trees in the distance.

In the photo below, I turned around and looked away from the rising sun to see more fog and the new day’s light on the hills. The campground is behind the fog and trees in the distance. It didn’t take long for the sun to do away with the fog.

Both the photos above are HDR merges in the low light.


I did some hiking on the Lower Paddock Creek Trail and saw a lot more prairie dogs. Whenever you get near the prairie dogs, they generally sit up and yap to warn the others of your presence. If you get closer, they dive down their hole to hide. But a few of the prairie dogs don’t seem to care that you are there and run around and play. I sat and watched them for a while and took some video. In my head, I heard banjo music while watching the prairie dogs, so I found some free banjo music to put in the video. The first short clip is the prairie dogs yapping at me, and after that there are a few just going about their prairie business while I filmed. Below should be a link to a YouTube video that I uploaded.

My videography was all handheld while standing on the edge of a little hill, so please excuse the shaking. I chose the focus points and you can see how fast the camera and lens shift focus; it’s almost jarring. I doubt I will be getting any calls from Hollywood based on this video.

Dirty Prairie Dog

Later I came across a bend in a stream and I was up on a small cliff above it and it reminded me of the famous Horseshoe Bend photos that I often see shot with ultra-wide lenses. This is no Horseshoe Bend, but I kind of like the way it turned out. Below is a bend in the stream shot at 14mm focal length.

I continued my hike, ate an apple, saw some turkeys and don’t have a lot more to report from that.


Later in the day, I went to the Painted Canyon area as it has overlooks facing west and I was thinking sunset. But the sky was thinking overcast, so that didn’t happen. But I did go hiking down the Painted Canyon Trail. This trail begins with a rather steep descent, and then down into the canyon, so on your way back you end with a steep ascent, so that is something to consider before you start. The trail is well marked and features a lot of up and down climbing and I had fun.

The sky stayed gray and I headed in for the day. I did a lot of hiking, but didn’t really get a lot of great photos on this day. I hope you enjoyed the prairie dogs.

Wildflowers at Painted Canyon

27 thoughts on “Sunrise and Prairie Dogs

      1. Uh — I had a prairie dog as a pet for some years. Loved that critter, and that portrait you’ve captured is terrific. The teeth and claws never were as much of a problem as those of the squirrel that preceded him, but when you have a prairie dog roaming the house, their tendency to burrow can become an issue. If you can’t find it, checking the sofa and the mattress is a good idea.

        Actually, I don’t recommend them as pets because they’re such social animals. For one to be happy, you have to become its family, and it loves family time. But cute? Funny? You bet! We got ours sort of by accident, but it was a great experience.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Nice video. On some cameras these days there is a video setting in video mode to transition autofocus from fast to a more moderate or slower version for shooting video. I also carry a top handle ( like a universal cold shoe type ) to put in to the hotshoe area of the camera body for some stabalization and a mini tabletop Manfroto tripod even if shooting with a long lens. Both are small and light and mKe the video aspect a bit more steady if one has a table, rock or ground to put it on.
    Adding video is nice as one can hear the creatures (or birds) sounds and see characteistics beyond a 1/1000th of a second frame stop. jerry

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All day long you had a cute Praire Dog video to watch and I just found it now..And of course the praire dog pic is my favorite photo. Though your other photos were great too. I liked that horseshoe one, was different.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was so entranced by the prairie dogs I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed that last photo. I’m sure the flower’s a member of the pea family, though I couldn’t tell you the species. I like the way you framed it.

    Liked by 1 person

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