A Western Meadowlark, Nebraska’s official state bird, sings on a fencepost in Ft. Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. Mainly found in western Nebraska, the Meadowlark is a bright bird with a loud voice, easy to spot, but sometimes jumpy. I was pleased to be able to watch this one sing for a bit before he flew on.
I love the open and solitude nature of the Nebraska sandhills and skies that go on forever. When a thunderstorm rages on the vast prairie, it can be viewed miles away. I watched this storm pass by for close to an hour while I photographed the different dark clouds that would form and reform.
For a while on the evening of this image it appeared as though I would have a completely overcast sky. At the last moment the sun broke through the clouds on the western sky and illuminated the prairie all around as the dark clouds hovered over the east.
The sandhills are one of the last and largest virtually untouched areas of open prairie in the United States. A diverse set of wildlife, especially birds like this beautiful blue-winged teal call this area home.
Ft. Niobrara contains several areas of prairie dog holes. You can’t drive through this area without seeing their heads pop up and down all over the place. In the spring the young prairie dogs venture out to watch the large vehicles as they move slowly through the refuge. When someone gets too close, though, they are not afraid to bark their concern.