A couple of weeks ago I wanted to go find a new place to photograph birds so I fueled up the car and headed to the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge on the northern end of Bear lake in Idaho. I was excited as I planned on some new shots and some new birds from what I had been seeing down at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.
Don’t get me wrong, I love taking photographs on the Bear River Bird Refuge but I am out there several times a week so I wanted to change things up a bit. Try something new and unknown.
The Bear Lake Refuge is about 2 hours away, quietly tucked away in the most southeastern portion of Idaho. I had visited it before, many years ago, but I couldn’t remember much about it and I actually had to stop for directions when I got to the nearest town because it had been so long since my only visit.
It was hot and dry on the refuge with low water conditions prevailing on much of the marsh. My visit was sadly becoming a disappointment since the only birds I had seen were Canada geese, a couple of white faced ibis, a family of rudy ducks and a couple of pelicans on the Bear River. I did eventually see a northern harrier off in the distance as I was contemplating my next move, which included leaving and cutting my loses by maybe making it back home for a sunset shot somewhere.
I was sitting on the bench, far away from my vehicle out in the marsh on an interpretive trail, watching butterflies dance around some purple flowers. I didn’t want to leave without taking a picture or two so I thought this would be a great time to practice taking some pictures on a subject I have not done before, butterflies on flowers.
Not expecting too much I snapped a few quick shots and headed for the car, sadly disappointed in the day’s events. I wasn’t even planning on looking at the pictures when I got home.
Later that night, I decided to take a quick peak at the pictures before I went to bed, thinking the day’s efforts were a loss. Much to my amazement, when I opened the file and looked at them I was stunned. I didn’t expect to have them turn out the way that they did. I quickly looked through them all and started to format them for facebook to share with my friends and their response was incredible.
It just goes to show when you go out to take a certain type of picture always keep your eyes open for the unexpected shot because you never know when or where it may come up. Admittedly, I was so impressed with those pictures, the next day I headed back out to photograph butterflies, ending up at a local mountain spot I knew that had a good hiking trail and meadows in search of more butterflies to photograph.
Most of my favorite shots have been from similar experiences such as this, I head out for one shot and come home with something completely different and totally unexpected. I always try to keep an open mind and my eyes open for those unexpected shots that are always around us if we take a few minutes to find them. And as a final note, the first two pictures on this post with the white butterflies on the purple flowers are from that day on the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge.