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Winter's End

Mar 19, 2012

The month of March has been strangely warm this year. As a photographer, I watch the weather closely as it determines everything from what the sky looks like at sunset to when the first flowers bloom. With that in mind, I thought it might be kind of fun to journal through the photographs I took during the last month for you.

February 16 

The days are getting longer which allows me to go out and find sunset shots after I get off work. I find a lone horse in a field west of Sioux Falls against the pink light of sunset. Life is good.


February 18

I’m on a quest to find “winter” photos. Since there hasn’t been much snow all year, I figure I’ll try the ice of one of South Dakota’s biggest glacial lakes, Lake Thompson. As I drive along the eastern side of the lake, I notice the remains of old shoreline trees surrounded by ice from last year’s high water. The western sky turns yellow and orange and the icebound trees make a nice silhouette against the western sky. Very nice!


February 25

It snowed yesterday. I head out in search of interesting snow photos. As I’m driving near Parker, I see a pheasant on the shoulder of the road. His bright colors stand out nicely against the white background. I continue south to the Missouri River and Chief Standing Bear Memorial Bridge southwest of Springfield in hopes of getting a nice sunset shot over the river. The sky flares for just a few minutes at sunset and my best shots are actually looking south and east from the South Dakota side as the setting sun paints the low hanging clouds above the bridge with pinks and purples.


March 6

The internet tells me there might be northern lights out tonight so I head out of town to see if I can spot them. The internet was wrong. The weather was warm though as I’m only needing a light jacket as I shoot the sunset colors over the ice of Lake Vermillion and test out my “new to me” long lens on the nearly full moon.


March 9

There has been unseasonably warm weather the last couple of days. It is Friday and after work I can tell the sky is going to be a good one for the sunset as there are high wispy clouds in the west. I pull out the map and decide to try my luck at Mud Lake in Turner County. I get there just minutes before the sky starts to pop. The lake has no ice. I can hardly believe it.


March 10

I’m in Mitchell today for another photo project. On my way there I saw a bald eagle hanging out near a slough right off I-90. On my return trip, I decide to take some less traveled roads to see if I can spot any more. It doesn’t take long. Right above the James River off Highway 38 is a big one hanging out and watching the traffic go by. I take his portrait and keep moving east. Gross Lake south of Spencer is teaming with snow geese and Sandhill Crane. It is fun to watch them settle in for the day.


March 13

Shooting muddy roads for another project near Clear Lake north of Humboldt. I find out that only one of my good waterproof boots is still waterproof. 


March 14

I heard a meadowlark in the morning, saw a robin in the afternoon so I figure I’ll hunt some pasque flowers in the evening. Sure enough, I spot two tiny flowers peaking up at me at Lake Vermillion Recreation Area. I guess spring is truly here. It is the fastest arrival I can remember!

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 our prettiest spots around the state. Follow Begeman on his blog


01:43 pm - Mon, March 19 2012
Heidi said:
Christian, this is my favorite column from you! My favorite time of the year is that transition from winter to spring... ice turning to water, gorgeous skies, trees budding....I love your journal.
03:03 pm - Mon, March 19 2012
Laura said:
Ohhh...I like that muddy road photo, but it gives me a sad, sinking feeling right in the stomach. I got myself stuck already this year
03:52 pm - Mon, March 19 2012
Marcy said:
Wow you are soooo amazing!!! So beautiful!!! Nice job!!! You are great!
04:17 pm - Mon, March 19 2012
Judee said:
Stunning pictures - what a gift you have! Thank you for sharing.
07:19 pm - Mon, March 19 2012
Angela Cable said:
You have an amazing eye and a talent that is incredible! Your photos are breath taking! The photographs capture so many of my senses- I can almost hear the wind and smell the water in the air... it's amazing! Fantastic!!
07:37 pm - Mon, March 19 2012
Val Strande said:
Absolutely beautiful! I love finding the beauty in our Dakota plains.
12:35 pm - Wed, March 21 2012
Brooke Pejsa said:
You can showcase the beauty in absolutely anything.
11:42 pm - Wed, March 21 2012
Great stuff, you should do some spring photography off of Highway 1804 up and down the state. Love the changing of the seasons.
04:08 pm - Tue, April 3 2012
Your pictures are absolutely wonderful!I really enjoyed your blog. The pictures make me remember how beautiful South Dakota can be. I am doing similar things in Texas now and wherever I happen to go.
09:54 am - Fri, April 20 2012
Stuart Surma said:
I spotted 3 whooping cranes 5 S West of Selby on April 2nd & they stayed there for 5 days! I have hunted trapped and fished all my life in South Dakota and have had 3 sightings in the last two years! Until that time I had never seen a Whooping Crane! Stu

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