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Fleeting scenes of fall

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Whether it be the first sign of frost or quickly changing explosion of color, autumn brings a sense of urgency to nature photography. With snow in the forecast this week, scenes such as these seem especially fleeting.

When fall foliage bursts to the scene, I often find myself driving the Pine Ridge’s West Ash Creek Road. And stopping for a few photos, of course.

Towering cottonwoods, such as this one at Fort Robinson State Park, seem to have benefited from the Midas touch this time of year.

Whether it be golden reflections at Ice House Ponds and Chadron City Reservoirs, or billowing mist at Walgren Lake State Recreation Area, autumn brings special splendor to the waterfront.

These sunflowers, just a short time ago a source of color at Fort Robinson State Park location, now have become even less vibrant than this bovine.

These cultivated sunflowers also may not be as bright as before, but foraging red-winged blackbirds seem especially attracted to them.

The twins at Chadron State Park are growing up, and are looking more like mother whitetail every day.

Young rooster pheasants are taking in their first frost.

The meadowlarks, with frost at their feet, are still singing — albeit with less gusto than they did in spring.

Sometimes great fall colors come from the sky.

At Fort Robinson, fall foliage makes a great backdrop for wild turkeys and a nice foreground for Saddle Rock.

Even though we may not be ready for the arrival of Jack Frost, those fallen leaves do look good on ice. More of that to come, for sure.

About Justin Haag

Justin Haag has served the Commission as a public information officer in the Panhandle since 2013. His duties include serving as regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and have two children.

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