For many years, I’ve wanted to get out and photograph the South Dakota state flower – the Pasque. It is rather elusive and it blooms first thing in spring. In the past, I was either traveling or too busy to get out in that very short period of time to find one.
Shortly after I photographed a Crocus in our back yard, I realized this was my chance to get out and search. I found a photo of the Pasqueflower on the website for the nearby Altamont Prairie – a site managed by the Nature Conservancy. I’d been there before, so I thought I’d take a drive out and see if I could find some. I walked for close to an hour in a very zig zag pattern up hills and through swampy parts and every different terrain I could find. The sun was starting to go down, so I was a little depressed and started back. On the last leg on my way back to the car, I walked across a hill and FINALLY found one clump of four flowers! They were a little droopy from the rain that had fallen most of the day, but nonetheless made for great photos!
I noticed one other clump just peeking out of the ground, so I thought about planning another trip when I returned home from a wedding scheduled for weekend. I invited my wife Rebekah to go back on the follow up visit.
We were rewarded with a handful of new Pasqueflower clumps. On this day, they were standing tall and not droopy like the previous trip. Here is one of my favorites from the second journey.
The only downside was the many little passengers we picked up. On arriving back to the car, we both pulled at least 20 wood ticks each off our clothing. A few more were found on the ride home and the last eight or so persistent buggers were finally found upon “close” inspection at home
These trips made me a very happy South Dakota photographer! Next on the list is the White Ladyslipper. This one may be even harder to find than the Pasque!