* *  Mike Umscheid PHOTOGRAPHY & STORM CHASE BLOG   * *


Most Recent Shoots

24 Apr 2017
Southeast Arizona Bird Photography Trip (Day 3)
Synopsis: Day 3 of this trip started at Ash Canyon B&B where I photographed at a new photo blind on the property. It was a very windy morning, althoug...
23 Apr 2017
Southeast Arizona Bird Photography Trip (Day 2)
Synopsis: Day 2 of this trip started in the Battiste BB&B backyard at Tony's photography setup. This was quite productive with a a few gallery-worthy ...
22 Apr 2017
Southeast Arizona Bird Photography Trip (Day 1)
Synopsis: Day 1 of this short trip started out in Portal in the morning, where I photographed feeder birds at a feeding station just northeast of Port...
15 Apr 2017
LP Supercell near Protection, KS
Synopsis: An awesome LP supercell was photographed this day, one of the better LP storms I have photographed in quite some time. The sunset colors and...
14 Apr 2017
Photogenic supercell at sunset near Sumner, NE
Synopsis: Managed to get some good images of a late-developing supercell storm near Sumner, NE. The storm had fairly decent tiered structure for a tim...

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= Storm Chases & Shoots of 2013 =



Location: Lee Richardson Zoo, Garden City, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 4
Synopsis: This was my first visit to the duck pond at Lee Richardson Zoo. I must say, I was impressed. Even though there are tons of trees around, there were some spots where the light came in making for excellent photography from the south side of the pond. There were many Mallards as well as Wood Duck and Wigeon. I got fairly good artistic type portraits and some action images of all three species. I will definitely be going back!




Location: Oak Park, Wichita, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: I met up with local photographers Chuck and Don who guided me to a reliable place (Oak Park) for Golden-crowned Kinglet. We managed to call in three of these tiny, flighty birds and I happened to get at least a couple decent shots of one of them.




Location: Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 24
Synopsis: This was my one dedicated day to spend at Squaw Creek on my last of three days in Kansas City. This was a great shoot, as I managed to photograph a number of Bald Eagles, including a couple of Eagle attacks on Mallards.




Location: Harvey-Butler County Line, east of Newton, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: A Snowy Owl was reported along the county line of Harvey and Butler east of Newton, Kansas in mid-December. Since I was going to be going through this area on my way to Kansas City for the weekend, I decided to stop by the last reported location of the owl. Sure enough, the owl was just about exactly where it was last reported! I spent about a half hour photographing this amazing bird, despite the cloudy conditions. I managed to get some great looks and images.




Location: Dodge City, Kansas

Shoot type: Weather and Landscape
# of images: 2
Synopsis: I decided to make a quick jaunt into town to check out the light pillar potential as I noticed some ice crystals/low clouds around. I ended up photographing light pillars out at the Koch Nitrogen plant northeast of town.




Location: Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 3
Synopsis: The second day was far more successful. The day started off before sunrise at the photo blind on Little Salt Marsh, but when I struck out there, I headed back north to the mud flats north of 170th Ave. Three Whooping Cranes were found on the flats. I, along with several other birders and photographers, watched these cranes until they took flight at around 10:15am. These birds started off heading south, but they met a strong head wind and turned back around... joining up with 13 other Whooping Cranes that had just arrived, unbeknownst to all of us there as we were so focused on those original three. We then observed the 16 for quite some time on the far end of the mud flats. Later that afternoon, I photographed 9 of these cranes that were within the Wildlife Drive loop.




Location: Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 2
Synopsis: This was the first of a two-day shoot at Quivira with the focus being on Whooping Cranes. On this first day, I (along with other birders) saw 3 Whoopers on the south end of Big Salt Marsh. I photographed the cranes fly south from their overnight roost, but they remained fairly distant and thus did not get that great of shots. Later that day, I tried to photograph other wildlife since there were no other Whooping Cranes around. The best I came up with was a snapping turtle on the west end of Wildlife Drive.




Location: Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: On this trip to Quivira, I focused on duck photography. The best part of this shoot was in the afternoon/early evening as I set up in a fairly concealed location where various waterfowl like to hang out (North Lake area of Quivira). Species photographed included: American Avocet (√), Green-winged Teal, Redhead (√), American Widgeon (√), Ring-billed Gull (√), Gadwall (√), Great Blue Heron (√), Pied-billed Grebe




Location: near Spearville, Kansas

Shoot type: Weather and Landscape
# of images: 0
Synopsis: On my way back home after a brief visit at Quivira NWR, I came across some fairly photogenic virga near Spearville. I stopped at the Spearville Wind Farm and photographed the sky for a bit around sunset.




Location: Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 2
Synopsis: This was my second straight day at Quivira, concentrating on water birds. Since the Sandhill Crane activity was poor, I focused more on ducks, coots, and shorebirds. Species photographed included: American Coot (√), Northern Pintail (√), Blue-winged Teal (√), American Avocet (√), Least Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs (√), Dowitcher sp., Killdeer (√)




Location: Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 5
Synopsis: This was a fairly productive day shoot at Quivira. I started at sunrise choosing to shoot from the the jetty on the east side of Big Salt Marsh. Species photographed on this day shoot included: First observed Whooping Crane of the season (very distant), American Coot, Eared Grebe (√), Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck (√), Vesper Sparrow, Franklin's Gull, Least Sandpiper (√), Great Blue Heron (fishing (√)), immature Northern Shrike (√), American Avocet (√), Green-winged Teal (√), Ring-billed Gull (√)




Location: Ford County SFL, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 5
Synopsis: The evening before, Jeff and I heard at least three Sora calling amongst the heavy vegetation in the water near the shore of the lake. I then decided to try and photograph this species the next morning, finding a potential favorable spot under cover of darkness to shoot from. I ended up succeeding in getting the Sora! One came out briefly for excellent looks at less than 15 yards range from where I was set up.




Location: Ford County SFL, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 0
Synopsis: I went out with Jeff Calhoun to bird Ford County Lake. I got my first Rock Wren this evening, although the overall birding was fairly slow. Other than the Rock Wren, I photographed Redhead and Northern Pintail in flight over the lake. I also got a decent in flight shot of an American Kestrel. An American Robin (√) gave a nice pose before we left.




Location: Horsethief Reservoir

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 0
Synopsis: A fairly rare fall snow dumped about 3 inches of snow on the area late morning and midday. During the late afternoon hours, I went up to Horsethief to see what I could find of interest to photograph in terms of wildlife. I came across some more sparrows, so that was what I focused on. Species photographed were Field Sparrow (√), American Kestrel, White-crowned Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow (√)




Location: Northern Ford County, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 0
Synopsis: I spent about 5 hours out in several different locations across northern Ford County. I first visited Hain Lake where I photographed Northern Pintail, Meadowlark sp., Vesper Sparrow (√). I walked around Paradise (private land) to see what I could find there around the pond. I photographed a few more sparrows here including Song Sparrow (√) and Lincoln's Sparrow (√)




Location: Arkalon Park near Liberal, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 12
Synopsis: I went out to Arkalon Park for the first time with Jeff Calhoun. We spent several hours birding the park. There were a few highlights, including a number of Wood Ducks and an encounter with a few extremely tame Wild Turkey at the campground. Species photographed included Belted Kingfisher (√), Northern Flicker, Pied-billed Grebe, Greater Yellowlegs, Clay-colored Sparrow, Bald Eagle, Eastern Bluebird (√), Wild Turkey (√), Townsend's Solitaire, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Bewick's Wren (√),




Location: Ford County SFL, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: I went out to Ford SFL to get in a brief shoot in the good morning weather. Nothing too spectacular, but I did get some good looks at a few species including an immature Cedar Waxwing, Cooper's Hawk, Eastern Phoebe, and Yellow-rumped Warbler (√).




Location: McPherson County State Fishing Lake, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 11
Synopsis: This was my one chase of the Great Kiskadee that made a big buzz in the Kansas birding community in Fall of 2013. I decided to do both a morning and evening shoot of this bird. I got some pretty good looks and distant shots of this extremely rare tropical flycatcher. In the morning, I did photograph some other species including Northern Cardinal (√), Great Blue Heron, Nashville Warbler (√), Belted Kingfisher




Location: Northeastern Texas Panhandle south of Perryton, TX

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 2
Synopsis: This was my final storm chase of 2013. It did yield some good results, as I managed to photograph a couple of severe storms. The best images were of the last storm that developed along Hwy 70 and moved northeast between Perryton and Canadian, TX. I was really pleased with one frame in particular of multi-branched lightning at around sunset in pretty good light.




Location: My Backyard

Shoot type: Weather and Sky Around Home
# of images: 1
Synopsis: A distant thunderstorm provided for an amazing sunrise as viewed from my backyard this morning.




Location: Cheyenne Bottoms & Quivira NWR, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 6
Synopsis: This was another productive shoot in the afternoon and evening hours. This time, I started at Quivira and ended the day at Cheyenne Bottoms. At Quivira, species photographed included Great Egret, Meadowlark sp. with a mouth full of insects (√), Snowy Egret. At Cheyenne Bottoms, I photographed Cattle Egret (√), Common Grackle (√), Barn Swallow, Blue-winged Teal, Yellow-crowned Night Heron (√), Franklin's Gull (√), Black-crowned Night Heron (√)




Location: Arkansas River/Sim Park, Wichita, KS (morning). Cheyenne Bottoms & Quivira NWR (late day)

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 10
Synopsis: This was quite the productive day of wildlife photography. I started the morning out in Wichita photographing a lone Snowy Egret (√) in excellent morning light along the Arkansas River at Sim Park. After running some errands in town, I left for Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira. At Cheyenne Bottoms, I photographed Forster's Tern (√), Cattle Egret (√), White-faced Ibis, Snowy Egret (√), Ruddy Duck. At Quivira species photographed were American Avocet, Double-crested Cormorant, Wilson's Phalarope, American Pelican, Great Egret (√), Stilt Sandpiper (√), Barn Swallow, Killdeer, Blue-winged Teal, Least Sandpiper (√), Killdeer (√), Snowy Egret, Great Egret, White-faced Ibis.




Location: Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 0
Synopsis: Not a spectacular shoot, but there were quite a few egrets to photograph (Great Egret and Snowy Egret) along NE 170th Rd. at Quivira. I also got a distant shot of the supposed nesting pair of Bald Eagles at the southeast part of Wildlife Loop.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: A Black Swallowtail butterfly visited my native garden. I got some pretty good images of this wonderful species as it favored my Purple Coneflower plants.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This was the first time I did some photography of butterflies at my new native garden in my backyard. I had great looks and images of a Monarch Butterfly on my Meadow Blazingstar (Liatris ligulistylis).




Location: Southern Ford County, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: I went out birding with Jeff Calhoun to investigate some of the water areas after a recent wet period. We came across several playas with water in them and noted a number of shorebird species. The Yucca Rd. Playa (northwest of Minneola) held decent water and a lot of Black Terns as well as a raft of Eared Grebes. Near the playa we came across a small family of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. Species photographed: Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Double-crested Cormorant, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Eared Grebe (distant raft), Black Tern




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Weather and Sky Around Home
# of images: 0
Synopsis:




Location: Deming, NM area

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis:




Location: Animas, NM area

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 2
Synopsis:




Location: Gila Bend, AZ area mid-afternoon. Salome to Brenda, AZ evening.

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis:




Location: Willcox, AZ area

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis:




Location: Safford to U191/I-10 Junction, AZ

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 2
Synopsis:




Location: Pearce, AZ area

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 2
Synopsis:




Location: South of San Simon, AZ

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis:




Location: Las Cienegas NCA early afternoon. Fort Thomas, AZ area late afternoon/evening

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis:




Location: Tucson, AZ afternoon. Sacaton/Coolidge, AZ late night

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis:




Location: Tucson, AZ area afternoon. Sacaton, AZ area late-night

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis:




Location: Phoenix, AZ afternoon. Quartzsite, AZ area evening.

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis:




Location: Tucson Mountains near Tucson, AZ

Shoot type: Landscape
# of images: 1
Synopsis:




Location: Safford to south of Willcox, AZ

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 3
Synopsis:




Location: near Cochise, AZ

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis:




Location: East of Sierra Vista, AZ evening. Northeast of Willcox late night

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 2
Synopsis:




Location: Three Points, AZ early. San Simon, AZ late

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 9
Synopsis: Late morning storms were moving north-northwest toward the southwest suburbs of Tucson and the Three Points area. I photographed the backside of these storms from along the Ajo Highway. Later in the evening, I noticed storms moving north close to the New Mexico border. This storm ended up providing some of my best images of the entire trip, as an incredibly photogenic haboob developed and rolled west toward me, just south of San Simon. Lightning over the distant Peloncillo Mountains was fantastic in the golden sky that materialized at sunset.




Location: Tucson, Arizona

Shoot type: Weather and Landscape
# of images: 1
Synopsis: No storms were photographed on Day 1. I arrived early afternoon, and while a few storms were noted around the Sonoita area, nothing was worth photographing. I drove up Reddington Rd. a little ways for a nice sunset overlooking the east side of Tucson.




Location: East-central New Mexico, south of Trementina, NM

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This was my driving day out to Arizona, and I was not expecting to do much of any photography. I noticed some storms on radar developing off the south end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which were slowly rolling southeast off the mountains. I decided to make a short chase out of it. I photographed lightning along Highway 104 from west of Trementina to just southwest of Conchas Lake. Some of the best lightning was photographed using the highway as a foreground subject at around sunset.




Location: Southwestern Kansas near Fowler, KS

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This was a fun close-to-home chase. I actually started this chase in Sterling, CO and had ideas of chasing down in the Texas Panhandle. However, by late morning, I changed my mind as I was en-route. At Springfield, CO I turned east and went into Southwest Kansas. By early evening, a storm formed near Fowler and it ended up being a very slow-moving marginal supercell, complete with prolific lightning. I meandered slowly south and west.. and at times retraced my steps back to my original shooting location north of Fowler. There was some decent storm structure and the lightning made for a few good frames.




Location: Northeastern Colorado between Anton and Otis, CO

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 3
Synopsis: After a poor chase forecast, I finally got into position of a supercell storm rolling east toward Anton, CO. I finally got on the storm was just a little bit of daylight left. The best images of the day were after sunset. I found an old farmstead house and used it as the subject of one of my shots with the stark, stormy sky in the background. Later on, I got some lightning illuminated high-based shelf structure as the storm was approaching Otis.




Location: Central Nebraska north of Cozad, NE

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This day showed quite a bit of potential, but unfortunately a photogenic supercell was not to be. A target storm did develop near Cozad, but after about an hour of struggling to advance to the next stage, it just ultimately shriveled up and died in the capped atmosphere as it moved into the sandhills.




Location: West-central Kansas

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: I decided to go for a late-day/evening storm photography shoot. I was not expecting a whole lot, but the opportunity for some lightning piqued my interest. None of the storms turned out to be worth photographing really. I drove all the way up to Colby as a nice, crisp Cumulonimbus formed to my north-northwest, but by the time I got there, the storm was on a downtrend. I drove back south toward Oakley continuing down into Gove County and photographed a nice virga sky at sunset to the set with some interesting foreground.




Location: Southwest Nebraska to Northwest Kansas from Ogallala, NE to Atwood, KS

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 29
Synopsis: The keynote sequence of this chase was around and southeast of the Atwood area when a menacing HP supercell formed just south of the NE-KS state line. I followed this storm southeast on a county road grid stopping as often as possible ahead of the storm to take structure shots. It was a very impressive storm which quickly became outflow-dominant. Before this storm, I chased a supercell earlier on with Jay Antle (he broke off the chase at Trenton, NE) which also had some decent structure at times across far southwestern Nebraska.




Location: Near Cheyenne, WY to Sterling, CO

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 3
Synopsis: I started this chase north of Cheyenne, meeting up briefly with Chris Kirby. I chased with Chris for much of this day, later meeting up with Jay Antle farther southeast on the Colorado side of the Cheyenne Ridge. The initial storm we chased was somewhat photogenic as it moved southeast. We followed it all the way to just west of Sterling. We headed south at sunset in pursuit of new storms developing, which provided for very nice sunset scenes with amazing color.




Location: Eastern Nebraska near West Point, NE

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 3
Synopsis: I intercepted this supercell thunderstorm on a solo chase in eastern Nebraska. The storm rapidly grew into a supercell storm along an old northwest-southeast oriented outflow boundary. For a time, the storm looked like it was going to produce a tornado, however it failed to do so. Soon, the storm attained incredible multi-tiered structure as it continued to mature. Many great storm structure images were attained along the way, but unfortunately I did not manage to capture any of the crazy staccato cloud-to-ground flashes that were coming out of the storm updraft region. Many of these flashes were way too close for comfort! All in all, it was a very successful intercept. This and the Julesburg storm a couple weeks prior were my best two supercell intercepts of the 2013 season.




Location: My House

Shoot type: Weather and Sky Around Home
# of images: 1
Synopsis: A southeastern sky filled with mammatus thanks to some severe storms about 80 miles to the south of Dodge City.




Location: Southwest Kansas near Ulysses, KS

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 2
Synopsis: This chase was not all that exciting except for a brief time northwest of Ulysses. A storm formed along a nearly stationary north-south boundary and attained some rotation. I met up with David Mayhew and we observed some rather wild tornadogenesis activity very near our location. A brief tornado formed in a farm field just east of us by a few hundred yards, but it never really advanced past the debris whirl stage.




Location: Far Northeast Colorado near Julesburg, CO

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 6
Synopsis: On this day, I intercepted and photographed a beautiful LP supercell that attained mothership structure by mid to late evening. At sunset as the storm approached Julesburg, the storm took on an amazing corkscrewing structure with amazing striations. Several gallery-level images resulted from this storm -- it was amazing!




Location: Red River along TX-OK border

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This was the third of a 3-day chase along with Jon, Rob, Mitch, and Candice. We decided on a southern target south of the Red River as we thought storms across central OK would fire early and become messy real quick. That did not exactly pan out as thought, as a destructive tornado tore through Moore, OK on this day a several hours after we passed through the city heading south. We did intercept an intense HP supercell near Ringgold, TX south of the Red River. It produced a tornado wrapped in rain to our south as we were driving east of Ringgold, but we never confirmed it visually. We managed to get a few HP supercell structure shots, but nothing too spectacular from this chase otherwise.




Location: North-central Oklahoma toward Ponca City at dark

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: The main chase was largely a bust, once again, as we (myself, Jon, Rob, Mitch, and Candice) opted to stay north instead of farther south down the dryline where tornadoes occurred just north and northeast of the Oklahoma City metro. One of the storms we chased did produce a tornado near South Haven, but we somehow managed to miss this tornado while we were repositioning back south. We had a disagreement on what to do next as there were tornadic supercells an hour and a half to our south. Rob, Mitch, and Candice opted to try to intercept these storms, while Jon and I hung back in hopes of further development closer to where we were along the I-35 corridor south of the KS border. Nothing really happened until after sunset when storms formed south of Ponca City as we were eating dinner. The best images of the day came from just outside our motel room in Ponca as we had a great look to the south at fantastic lightning-illuminated cumulonimbus storm structure -- so not all was lost on the day photography wise.




Location: Kansas-Oklahoma border area south of Coldwater, KS

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 2
Synopsis: This was one of the most frustrating storm chases ever. I met up with Rob, Mitch, Candice, and Jon while they were out on their storm chase trip. After staging in Greensburg, we decided to head south instead of north, which cost us the Rozel tornado. The storms we went after were outflow dominant junk. We did have a fairly pretty sunset with mammatus and some anvil lightning, but a far cry from what should have been. This was a bad bust.




Location: West-central Kansas

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 1
Synopsis: I followed some outflow-dominant storms that formed across northwestern Kansas early in the chase, around and east of the Oakley area. I continued east on I-70 toward Wakeeney then headed south into Ness County, where I did manage to capture a decent, but distant staccato lightning flash with the town of Utica in the foreground at dusk.




Location: Kill Creek Park, Johnson County, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This was a morning walk-around bird photography shoot along the trails at Kill Creek Park. Species photograph included Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Indigo Bunting (√), Eastern Bluebird (√), Eastern Phoebe, Yellow Warbler, Northern Cardinal




Location: Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 3
Synopsis: This was a fairly fun afternoon/early evening at Quivira. Species photograph included Eastern Kingbird, Yellow Warbler, Orchard Oriole, American Avocet (√), Semipalmated Plover (√), Wilson's Phalarope (√), Eared Grebe, Black-necked Stilt, Red-tailed Hawk, Black-bellied Plover, White-faced Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Baltimore Oriole, Cliff Swallow (√), Western Kingbird (√).




Location: My neighbor's pond, Dodge City, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 0
Synopsis: I spotted this Red-breasted Merganser on my neighbor's pond late morning on May 6th. The photos were not all that great, but at least I got a few for documentary sake as this bird is not all that common in Ford County.




Location: My co-worker's backyard, Dodge City, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 2
Synopsis: A co-worker of mine notified me of a Summer Tanager that was frequenting his backyard during the late afternoon/early evening hours on May 4th. I decided to head over to his house to photograph this rare treat (by western Kansas standards) as the bird was found at close range on his backyard lawn. Cool bird!




Location: Ford County SFL, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 3
Synopsis: The highlights of this morning birding/shoot were some decent shots of Yellow-rumped Warbler in full breeding plumage as well as a rare treat for Ford County: Lazuli Bunting.




Location: Paradise (Private land), Northern Ford County, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 0
Synopsis: Species photographed included Western Kingbird, Chipping Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Dowitcher sp., Baird's Sandpiper, Horned Lark




Location: Horsethief Reservoir, Hodgeman County, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 2
Synopsis: Species photographed included Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, a small group of Double-crested Cormorants in flight, Horned Lark, and an American Kestrel feeding on its recent kill.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 2
Synopsis: A rare late-April snowstorm allowed for unique opportunity of photographing American Goldfinches and Harris's Sparrows in their breeding plumage.




Location: near St. Francis, Kansas

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 3
Synopsis: After debating two target areas, I made a late decision to head northwest toward my northern target around Goodland, KS. I arrived on-scene of a supercell northwest of Goodland in the early evening, but the supercell structure did not last all that long and evolved into a non-supercell severe storm with some other storms forming around it toward sunset.




Location: From near LaCrosse to near Great Bend, Kansas

Shoot type: Storm Chase
# of images: 7
Synopsis: This was the first storm chase of the season. I ran into 2-inch diameter hail west of LaCrosse, but the best images of the chase came from later on as the storm entered Barton County. I got some pretty good images of the storm structure from behind in nice sunset light.




Location: Paradise (Private Land), northern Ford County, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: I decided to head to the pond on private land I have permission to access to hopefully photograph some wildlife. The highlight was one good look at a Mallard drake. One image I titled "Mallard Moment" resulted from this morning shoot.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 2
Synopsis: Evening shoot of feeder birds. Species photographed fairly well included Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, Harris's Sparrow, House Finch




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 0
Synopsis: A cold, cloudy late March morning. Best images were of close look at an immature White-crowned Sparrow ground feeding. American Goldfinch and Harris's Sparrow were also briefly photographed.




Location: Rowe Sanctuary and vicinity, Nebraska

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 0
Synopsis: This was Day Two of a two-day trip. The day started off with a morning shoot at one of the blinds I reserved a spot for. This turned out to be a bust, as cranes were not roosting right next to the blind we were at (thanks to a number of Bald Eagles across the river!). After the sun came up, I decided to take to the farm roads near the river to see what I could photograph. I did get some decent images of crane behavioral, in-flights, etc.




Location: Rowe Sanctuary and vicinity, Nebraska

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 2
Synopsis: This was Day One of a two-day trip to the Rowe Sanctuary to photograph Sandhill Cranes. This day started off meeting up with Jim Glynn of Great Bend as he was also up there on a short two-day trip. We drove around to photograph cranes in fields near the Platte River. Some scattered snow showers developed late in the afternoon which provided for some interesting background at times. I then spent the early evening/sunset at one of the Rowe Sanctuary blinds to photograph cranes coming into roost along the Platte. The sunset was incredible with the sky on fire with a deep red/violet hues with cranes silhouetted as they landed.




Location: Horsethief Reservoir, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: I decided to set up on the north shore of Horsethief Reservoir under cover of darkness before sunrise in hopes of getting some images of roosting Sandhill Cranes and whatever else flew and/or floated by. There was a small group of cranes that I photographed briefly before they took off. I also photographed a pair of Hooded Merganser as they floated by, but other than that, this was a weak shoot, unfortunately.




Location: Jetmore City Lake and Horsethief Reservoir, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: Nothing all that spectacular on this birding trip. Birds photographed included Northern Harrier, Song Sparrow, Baird's Sandpiper, various ducks in-flight, Harris's Sparrow, Greater Yellowlegs. I did not really get any standout images of any of the birds seen.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 0
Synopsis: A pleasant March morning yielded some nice images of my feeder birds, including Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, Pine Siskin, and American Goldfinch.




Location: Limon, Colorado and vicinity

Shoot type: Winter Weather
# of images: 2
Synopsis: I woke up early in the morning to document the aftermath of a significant blizzard that gripped much of northeastern Colorado. While the snowfall amounts were not terribly high, the 50-60 mph wind gusts created 4 to 6 foot drifts, temporarily closing some roads. The drifting provided for some interesting photography opportunities in town once the sun came out the morning of the 10th.




Location: Limon, Colorado

Shoot type: Winter Weather
# of images: 1
Synopsis: Blizzard conditions developing across eastern Colorado. I documented this storm from the Super 8 in Limon, Colorado.




Location: Clark Co. SFL, Kansas

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: I birded with Jeff Calhoun this morning. Mostly cloudy skies early on prevent much good light. Best images were of several displaying Red-winged Blackbirds on the far upper end of the lake. Otherwise, not much of note on this shoot. I did manage to photograph a perched Merlin on the way home in southeastern Ford County.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This was probably my best backyard bird shoot to date. I set up in a deck chair about 15 yards away from where most of the action was at near my deck. I got some close images of a Western Meadowlark which contrasted wonderfully against the snow. Harris's Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, and Red-bellied Woodpecker were also photographed well.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 6
Synopsis: A snowstorm provided a nice backdrop for the feeder birds. I temporarily moved my feeding station to my deck so I could get a better view of the birds during the storm. I photographed some of the birds during the storm, but the main photography was after the storm cleared and the sun came out before sunset. One of the best takes from this shoot was of a pair of Dark-eyed Juncos displaying toward each other, which was a cool behavioral scene.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: A Red-bellied Woodpecker made some sporadic visits in January and February, and I decided to photograph the bird this morning. This woodpecker was feeding on Black-oil Sunflower seed.




Location: Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, KS

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 13
Synopsis: A fairly productive morning of photography birding along Wildlife Drive/NE 170th and vicinity. Birds photographed included Pintail, Canada Goose, Mallard, immature Bald Eagle, American Tree Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Northern Harrier, Northern Cardinal, Downy Woodpecker, and Cedar Waxwing.




Location: Ford County southeast of Dodge City, KS

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 3
Synopsis: I went on a morning birding trip with Jeff Calhoun. The highlight of the birding was a Barn Owl which I successfully photographed in-flight in pretty good morning light. Other birds seen, but not photographed well included Black-billed Magpie and a Merlin.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 0
Synopsis: Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, and Goldfinches were photographed on this morning shoot.




Location: Bosque del Apache NWR and Bernardo WA, New Mexico

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 1
Synopsis: This was my final shoot. There was a full moon set shortly before sunrise, and I got some interesting landscape shots of sleeping cranes on the Crane Pond with the moon and mountains in the background. Then it was more in-flights with some cool clouds not too long after sunrise. After that, I stopped by Bernardo Wildlife Areas to get some last shots before making the long drive home.




Location: Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 12
Synopsis: Even though I got out and photographed during the morning, the light was crappy as there were too many clouds. There were some off and on sprinkles as well through the bulk of the day. Late in the afternoon, however, there was a pretty heavy shower that moved in not too long after I set up for a shoot at the typical spot north of the Flight Deck. I waited through some fairly heavy showers, but as the sun lowered, it began to peek through and a brilliant rainbow resulted. I captured some awesome images of the brilliant rainbow with the first group of cranes that had settled in to roost. One such image I titled "Cranebow".




Location: Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 9
Synopsis: The morning shoot concentrated more on behavioral shots of Sandhill Crane, including the classic stick-tossing, head-bobbing behavior. Before that, I got some pretty cool back light from sunrise at Flight Deck. Also photographed my first Bufflehead at the Crane Ponds. The evening shoot was awesome, I picked a great spot for some incredible landing shots, including an image I titled "Sandhill Silhouette".




Location: Bosque del Apache NWR and Bernardo WA, New Mexico

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 7
Synopsis: Finally, some good clouds came in to provide a much better backdrop for in-flights. I focused once again on the Crane Ponds in the good morning light. I got some more fun behavorial images as well. Later in the afternoon and evening, I met up with another photographer I met on the Fred Miranda forum (TrenchMonkey) at Bernardo wildlife area for a shoot of Sandhill Cranes there.




Location: Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 10
Synopsis: The morning shoot and evening shoot were both focused on the Crane Ponds. The morning shoot included more in-flights of cranes as well as some behavioral shots. After that, there were some Northern Shovelers close by at the Crane Pond which made for some nice images. Was concentrating on backlight shots at the Crane Pond, but nothing too exciting... until sunset. An amazing sunset with some clouds finally, provided for excellent wildlife-in-landscape scenes at the Crane Pond.




Location: Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 6
Synopsis: This was my first full day at Bosque. The morning shoot was at the Crane Ponds just outside the refuge. The sky was clear, limiting good backgrounds for the in-flights. Photographed a small fly-out of Snow Geese at around 930am local time. The sunset shoot just north of the Flight Deck was pretty good, but again no clouds.




Location: Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 5
Synopsis: This was my first day at Bosque del Apache. I arrived early in the afternoon and started off by driving the Marsh Loop, which is the south part of refuge. I got some Pintail images and some nice shots of a group of Mule Deer, including a nice buck. After that, I got some initial Sandhill Crane shots and scouted where to do my first sunset shoot. Just north of the Flight Deck along the shore was where the primary roosting spot was for both Sandhill Crane and Snow Geese. I had some pretty good light for the sunset shoot, and came away with some decent images for the first day.




Location: Northern Ford County, KS

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 2
Synopsis: This wasn't that great of a shoot. I visited my neighbor's private pond (Paradise) and did not see much wildlife. My best images were of a Northern Flicker high up in a tree. Other than that, I did notice several Rough-legged Hawks feeding on some carrion between my house and Paradise on 112 Rd. just south of Eagle Rd. I managed to get a couple in-flight images of one of the hawks.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 6
Synopsis: Second day of my little in-flight trial shoot of house finches. I set up a perch near the feeder in hopes of nailing some jump-off images from the primary perch. Again, only marginal success, but I also got some decent non-action perch images of my House Finches.




Location: My backyard

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 3
Synopsis: I attempted to photograph some in-flights of my regular House Finches, with some marginal success. I got maybe two marginal keeper shots from this little trial shoot.




Location: Private pond, northern Ford County, KS

Shoot type: Wildlife
# of images: 17
Synopsis: I decided to photograph this Wilson's Snipe I had noticed on my time-lapse cam I set up at a private pond. It was occurring regularly near the spring that feeds the pond, and I went out early this morning in hopes it was still there. It was, and I managed to get some decent images in the cold weather (temperatures were in the mid to upper teens!)




Other storm chases that busted/no photography in 2013