Take the camera to the wilds and get some social distance

This is my favorite time of year for photography. Everything around us is becoming more green by the moment, but this year, the morning photo shoots are a little different than they’ve been in the past.

In normal years, I like to get up early this time of year and spend some time on my way to work trying to find things to take pictures of. I’ve got a list of places all around the area that are likely to have the things I like to take pictures of, and I’ll hit one or two of those places on my way to work.

Ducks, geese, herons, hawks and songbirds are the usual targets, but sometimes there’s an unexpected bonus. There have been mornings when a muskrat has appeared, and on a few occasions, a fox has turned up. One day, while I was looking for burrowing owls, I found a badger instead.

But this year, since I’m doing my day job from home, I don’t need to go to the office. That makes it harder to justify going all the way to some of my favorite spots for photos, so I’ve had to find some new places to get my photo therapy.

Just like with fishing or hunting, exploring new places to take pictures doesn’t always pan out. Sometimes I drive around for a while and find nothing at all interesting. Other days, I happen upon something really cool, but the light is wrong. It’s coming from the wrong direction, so the picture doesn’t turn out like I want it to. It’s a lot like coming up on a deer from upwind when you’re hunting – you almost had it, but not quite.

The biggest benefit of these morning photo safaris has been in finding the true beauty of my little corner of Wyoming. I grew up near the Wind River range, so when I think of nature’s beauty, I usually think of the mountains and forests. But the prairie holds its own charm, too. You just need to take the time to notice it.

Get up early and go explore your world. Find a little beauty in the midst of all this madness. It’ll do you good.