I tend to get a little obsessed when I decide to try to get photos of a certain type of animal. Sometimes it pays off, and days, weeks or months of stalking a critter pays off eventually with a good photo of it. Granted, sometimes that leads to another obsession – to get photos of that animal in different light conditions, with different backgrounds, or doing different things.
And sometimes, like what happened recently, I get sidetracked.
About a month ago, I set out to find some burrowing owls. I called a bunch of landowners I know whose land is likely burrowing owl habitat, and I asked if they knew where any were. I got a few tips, but they didn’t ever pan out. I kept searching, but less and less religiously. I was still on the lookout for owls in my travels across the state, but I was starting to get a bit sloppy about it.
Then a few days ago, I caught a funny shape out of the corner of my eye just off the county road leading to my house. I stopped the truck and looked closer. There, about 30 yards off the road, were two badgers looking back at me. Before I could get out of the truck and take a picture, they were gone.
I spent the next several days trying to get pictures of those badgers. I got up early, stayed out late, and kept creeping around where their burrow was. But no luck. Then, the other night, as I was giving up on the badgers for the day and heading home, I caught another shape on the periphery of my vision. I looked again, and there it was. A burrowing owl.
So my obsession came full-circle. I’m still in full-on burrowing owl mode, but I figure I’ll get what I want of the owl, then switch back to the badgers. That’s the beauty of Wyoming – there’s always something to chase out there on the high plains.