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Dakota Awakening

Apr 23, 2015

Another spring is settling in. I like to muse that the season is much more than simply another tilt of the planet back towards the sun. It’s the annual promise of new life. It’s another chance to smell rain on the wind. It’s another year to chase the light and see what is beyond the next bend. Springtime provides a lot to be thankful for, but also is a time of nostalgia for me. I remember life awakening on the farm, the smell of the first cut grass, the song of the meadowlark from a distant fencepost and the smell of plowed earth at planting time. This year, the season’s signature flourish of raindrops and rainbows have been few and far between, but thankfully that has not stopped the return of waterfowl on the wind, the greening of the grass and the budding of leaves. The songbirds and wildflowers are back, there’s new warmth in the breeze and the sky seems a bit more blue. Happy Spring everyone!

March 11

While checking the status of ice on area lakes, I startled a large group of migrating waterfowl hanging out in a pond of snowmelt near Silver Lake in northeast Hutchinson County.


March 20

On the official first day of spring I took a sunset hike around the edge of Buffalo Slough south of Chester. All ice is completely gone.



March 31

I found a rather large, wild pasqueflower patch a few miles south of Lake Vermillion including a lovely little natural bouquet of five.



April 4

Just like last spring, a lunar eclipse took place, but dawn approached too quickly to see the full “blood moon.” This photo was taken roughly 20 minutes before totality above Skresfrud Lutheran of rural Lincoln County. Since I was already up, I checked the bird feeders at Good Earth State Park and watched the early bird (robin) get its worm.



April 5

Temperatures reached the low 70s on this Easter Day. In the afternoon, I went looking for snow trillium at Newton Hills State Park and found many blossoms as well as a half dozen Question Mark butterflies soaking up the day’s warmth amongst the last year’s leaves.



April 12

A spring day for the books! First I explored Union Grove State Park to find an early flowering bush along the trail. Later, after a brief thunderstorm passed, an afternoon rainbow graced the sky over the fields of Union County. In the evening another rainbow appeared on the northwest edge of Vermillion and the magic was far from over. As I drove back to Sioux Falls, the setting sun painted the retreating rain clouds pink and blue north of Chancellor.




April 18

A steady, light rain fell for most of the afternoon in Sioux Falls. It was much needed moisture. I spent some time in the Japanese Garden area of Terrace Park to see if I could capture the mood of the day. I was accompanied by a variety of geese, ducks and songbirds, including a male northern cardinal with raindrops glistening on its vibrant feathers.


Christian Begeman grew up in Isabel and now lives in Sioux Falls. When he's not working at Midcontinent Communications he is often on the road photographing South Dakota’s prettiest spots. Follow Begeman on his blog.


10:21 am - Thu, April 23 2015
Laura said:
Beautiful work as always, Christian. I'm glad to see you visit Union Grove State Park — that was a favorite of my family's when I was growing up.

I think my favorite of these is the robin and his breakfast. My husband and I keep a close eye on the birds in our yard, and that's a scene we see play out often on our front lawn.
01:28 pm - Tue, April 28 2015
Ken Stellner said:
Didn't think cardinals went that far north. I see them in the southeast a lot. One of my favorite birds.

Another favorite bird of mine is the robin. We only get to see them a couple times a year when they stop for rest & food during migration in FL

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