Black Hills colors - not just during fall | Black Hills Travel Blog
  • Black Hills colors - not just during fall

I'm fairly convinced that there's some sort of giant prism hovering directly over the Black Hills region. A prism - you know, that multi-sided glass thing that your grandparents used to hang in the windows? The crystal-looking thing that would turn sunlight into all of the different colors? Yes, that one.crystal751730

In my imagination, the one over the Black Hills looks something like this - except Huge.

I've come to this completely logical conclusion because I'm continually amazed at the brilliant natural colors that make regular appearances here in the region. Sometimes it's a sunrise, sometimes a sunset - that catches my attention. Other days, it's the brightly colored Black Hills vegetation or the varied wildlife that calls the area home.

Just a couple of evenings ago, while driving along Hwy 85 between Deadwood and Spearfish, I watched as some ominous storm clouds rolled in from the northwest. The sun was nearing the horizon, while the blueish-gray clouds were quickly forming a Swiss cheese-like ceiling above the Black Hills.

The sunlight appeared to shine both through the clouds and sideways across the plains, lighting up this hillside like a firecracker. The bright green of the human-managed hay field. The soft golden-yellows and reds of the natural grasses. The subtle browns of the fence posts and barbed wire.

The colors were all playing so nicely with the light and shadows that I just had to pull over and get a photo of the whole scene. The shot below is what I ended up with.

I was pretty satisfied with how it turned out, but it got me thinking about the bigger picture - no pun intended - of how the Black Hills and Badlands region really is a paradise for photographers of all interests and abilities. The endless mixture of natural beauty, cultural activity and unpredictable weather makes this place an ever-changing visual feast all year long. So, keep your eyes open and a camera handy - you never know when the moment will strike. And out here - it tends to strike often. Enjoy!

evening light623

About the Author

Joe is a resident of Spearfish, S.D. He grew up in the tall-corn state of Iowa, where he developed an early interest in all things outdoors. After high school he moved to Vermillion, S.D., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising.

During his college years, two things caught his attention: the beauty of western South Dakota’s Black Hills and a girl from those Black Hills. After graduating from college, Joe traveled across the country as a recruiter for the University of South Dakota. He saw the sights from Pittsburgh to Las Vegas and everywhere in between, but it was the Black Hills (and the girl) that kept drawing him back.

He and wife moved back to the Black Hills in 2008. He's an avid hiker, mountain biker and road cyclist whose future plans include trying to fit a pair of kayaks into the spare bedroom.

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