For today’s Friday Photos I am mixing it up a bit and posting images of Pronghorns, a Black-crowned Night Heron, a Long-tailed Weasel and an American Kestrel. Please enjoy!

Pronghorns of Antelope Flats, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area Pronghorns of Antelope Flat, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, UT –  Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I am behind on processing (that really isn’t news) but earlier this week I edited some files from a camping trip I made in September of 2011 to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area located in northeast Utah so I had this file on hand.

I photographed this group of Pronghorns in an area known as Antelope Flat which really seems like a fitting name since I saw so many Pronghorn there. Because I was there during the Pronghorn rut I was able to observe and photograph a Pronghorn buck trying to keep control of his does. I’ll do a post on them soon but for now I wanted to share one image of that buck’s “ladies” taken in the early morning light.

Black-crowned Night Heron adult Black-crowned Night Heron adult,  Bear River National Wildlife Refuge, UT – Nikon D200, f5.6, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 330mm, natural light

I photographed this adult Black-crowned Night Heron in early morning light at the Bear River National Wildlife Refuge in northern Utah as it stood on a mound of dead Bulrushes. I find the very long white occipital plume, cherry red eyes and the colors of this night heron appealing and beautiful. Unlike the Black-crowned Night Herons in Florida that I found easy to approach I have noticed that this species in Utah is far more difficult to get close to so I am always pleased when one poses within range as this one did.

American Kestrel male on frosty Rabbitbrush Male American Kestrel,  Antelope Island State Park, UT –  Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 800, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I was a bit further away from this male American Kestrel on the Antelope Island causeway than I would have liked to have been when I photographed it but I loved the setting, the pose of the falcon, the soft light and the frosted vegetation. I also enjoy having my subjects “small in the frame” at times and believe they can be compelling and appealing images. Besides; I adore American Kestrels and will photograph them at every opportunity!

Long-tailed Weasel in summer coat Long-tailed Weasel in summer coat, Bear River National Wildlife Refuge, UT – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 200mm, natural light, not baited

There is a story behind this Long-tailed Weasel photo that I will do a post on another time but I wanted to share this one file for now. This Long-tailed Weasel is in its summer coat, in the winter the coat becomes all white with the exception of a black tipped tail. I’m still hoping to get images of them in the winter because they are especially beautiful then. They may be beautiful but Long-tailed Weasels have a reputation for being ferocious and they will even kill and cannibalize their own species. I would not want to mess with these weasels!

Have a terrific Friday!



  1. Dan Huber January 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Wonderful photos Mia. The shot of the weasel is really super.

    • Mia McPherson January 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      Dan, thanks for your comment on this post. I love the Long-tailed Weasels, just wish I could find them more often to photograph.

  2. Bob Zeller January 20, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Mia, your photos always seem to paralell my own photography. You have brought memories of my Pronghorn Antelope images from Alpine, Texas, where their numbers seem to be waning. The cute, but feisty, American Kestrel reminds me of one leading me on “chase” through San Angelo State Park. I once stood along the Tennessee River in Knoxville and saw a seemingly hundred Black-crowned Night Herons. The weasel is an animal that I have never seen, though. I always love your photographs.

    • Mia McPherson January 20, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Bob, I’m glad three of these images brought back fond memories for you. Images aren’t just stories they are whispers of the past that blow the dust off our remberances. Thank you; as always, for your comments on my images.

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