A familiar face appeared with a smile, a swath cut through where a new drilling of seed offered opportunity to new arrivals on this old land. Snow on the Mountain dotted this trail, thick in a few places where the tractor had slowed a bit, or perhaps just the right conditions for it's growth. This gave him good memories of when he had first seen this beautiful plant growing in a rather bleak area in the Badlands. At the time he walked carefully so as to not disturb it.
He was with a large group and they had been working on a number of research projects across the midwest. Coming into this federal land, it was amazing how the hills felt so alive with such sparse vegetation. The study was looking how rotation of the buffalo herds was keeping the variety of plants going and making sure recent burns were successful to remove non-native species. A GPS was used to give them exact locations to identify, and at the time was huge compared to the handheld devices he used now.
A storm was moving through from the west, and offered a unique series of photos as the colors changed in the sky. He wasn't worried about the destructive forces of this menacing sky as much as getting a winning picture for the weekly slide shows all in this group shared.He ran to get at a perfect perch as the clouds rolled through competing with a beautiful sunset. Another photographer joined him, both exchanging information about themselves as they clicked away at the changing skies. This fellow was from Georgia and worked with National Geographic, so he felt he perhaps had a chance to meet or perhaps join his crew. They snapped until film ran out and changed it as they moved with the quick moving storm. He shared a roll with his new friend, not having a lot left and knowing they were very far from a store where they could get more. The clouds moved off over the massive hills and turned half of the sky black and the other half a beautiful orange. He stopped to enjoy this and turned to his friend and laughed how they both hadn't paid attention to their path coming in. When they finally saw the campground a sigh of relief was felt by both of these lost souls, but the film they had shot was precious.
Snow on the Mountain