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1811_0199 Dawn Light near Val Marie | by wild prairie man
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1811_0199 Dawn Light near Val Marie

This is the road I drive most days that I visit Grasslands Park: an undulating country two-laner, surrounded by vast spaces. Here, not far from the park entrance, I am looking back toward Val Marie, pop. 100, more or less, not visible in this photo (past the tower, the road curves left and the village is blocked from view by hills). It's the middle of nowhere, and that is often the place to find wildlife. Along this stretch of road I have stopped to photograph pronghorn, deer, coyote, red fox, golden eagle, merlin, ferruginous hawk, northern harrier, western meadowlark, prairie rattlesnake, painted turtle, snowy owl, sandhill crane, and much more - dozens of species. And in the park, it gets even better.


The wildlife. The space. The light. No traffic. No shopping malls. It isn't for everyone (for which I am grateful). This is dawn light, late fall or early winter. Seasonal transitions here are rapid as we ping pong between extremes of summer heat and winter cold, and that creates unique photo ops. Reality check: I would write more but I have to go out and shovel my driveway...


Photographed along Highway 18 between Val Marie and Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan (Canada). Don't use this image on websites, blogs, or other media without explicit permission © 2018 James R. Page - all rights reserved.

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Taken on November 9, 2018