Northern shoveler at the Big Salt March at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Stafford County, KS. (photo by DAN PEAK)

May 9, 2021

Quivira in the spring


A black-necked grebe at the Big Salt March at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Stafford County, KS. (photo by DAN PEAK)
Quivira NWR in the spring brings a whole new set of characters. Gone are most of the migratory birds replaced by more blackbirds, egrets, herons and a few ducks. Green replaces the browns of winter. Spring rain fall keep Rattlesnake Creek flowing and the marshes full.

For this trip, I changed up my MO. I love a good sunrise but for this trip I wanted time to scope a location for a landscape at sunset at Quivira.

The Rattlesnake Creek and I have history. I spend nights fishing the creek near my hometown. The creek is fascinating. It meanders across the prairie trying to find its way only to lengthen its journey to the Arkansas River. I keep trying to find the
(photo by DAN PEAK)
spot where one photograph will tell the story of the meandering creek of my youth.

I arrived at Quivira NWR mid-afternoon, made my initial circuit then headed for a the first spot I wanted to checkout. I pulled up Google Earth and decided against hiking my first choice. Maybe next time. My next choice looked more like it according to Google Earth but looked a bit more challenging.

Oh, BTW, the wind was blowing out of the south at a brisk pace hindering any progress.

Hiking along the Rattlesnake was slow going through the dense vegetation, uneven terrain and steady wind in my face. I hike about a mile along the river but only about 3/4 of a mile from the car. I come across a couple promising locations. I settle on the location closes to the road and my car. Not sure of my ability to make it back to the car in the dwindling light.

I setup the tripod and camera and sit back to wait
White-tailed deer near the Big Salt Marsh at Quivera National Wildlife Refuge in Stafford County, KS. (photo by DAN PEAK)
for the sun to set. Wasn't long and I notice a deer watching the goings on from 100 yds. away. The wind was blowing so hard I had to use the tripod I just setup for the landscape. The deer hung around watching for about 15 minutes before leaving.

I turned back to sunset and landscape. To end this post, lets just say the photo was a total bust. The light petered out as clouds rolled in. The composition sucked. I made it back to the car and headed to Larned for the night.