Courting Greater Sage-Grouse on a lekCourting Greater Sage-Grouse on a lek – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The leaden gray skies that have hung over the Salt Lake Valley this winter have begun to get to me. I find myself longing for warmer, longer days frequently and I am simply itching to spend days at a time wandering around the wilderness looking for birds and soaking up the natural wonders I see in on my journeys.

Nearly hidden Greater Sage-Grouse in a high sagebrush steppeNearly hidden Greater Sage-Grouse in a high sagebrush steppe – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I’m dreaming of seeing Greater Sage-Grouse, Sandhill Cranes and White-tailed Prairie Dogs as spring warms up the sagebrush steppe.

Morning light on a Greater Sage-GrouseMorning light on a Greater Sage-Grouse – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Wanting to feel the cool temperatures at dawn warm up as the sun touches my cheeks at a lek as the birds in front of me perform their yearly mating rituals.

Sandhill Cranes flying over snow-covered mountainsSandhill Cranes flying over snow-covered mountains – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/5000, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I want to hear the rattling calls of Sandhill Cranes as they fly overhead past the still snow-covered mountains and watch them feed, court and dance near a marsh or farmer’s field.

Alert White-tailed Prairie DogAlert White-tailed Prairie Dog – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I want to see the White-tailed Prairie Dogs coming out of their burrows and then standing upright to check out their world. Watch them scurry through the sage and smell its aroma waft through the crisp, clear air.

White-tailed Prairie Dog eating in evening lightWhite-tailed Prairie Dog eating in evening light – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This dreary winter will soon be over and even though I don’t wish it to go away quite yet I still find myself thinking and dreaming of spring. Especially on days where there will be no visible sun in the morning because of gray clouds hanging overhead. Maybe there will be some sun later today when I can go out and enjoy it. That would be enough to chase this cabin fever away.

Life is good.

Mia