Just a few minutes into our drive we saw a group of mallard ducklings and I was able to get this image.
Once we got to Clam Lake we started driving some of the roads hoping to find elk. It has been my experience that the only way to get decent Wisconsin elk photos is to locate them from the roads and shoot from the car.
We found this painted turtle soon after we started driving around. I learned a long time ago to photograph the subject I do have when there is good light. So on this day, the turtle in the hand was worth two or more possible elk in the bush.
The turtle wasn't particularly patient with me so we left her to find an appropriate place to lay her eggs and got back to elk.
No elk, but we did see lots more painted turtles. I kept an eye on the clouds and sky planning for possible sunset shots and located a patch of wild lupines that would still be in sunlight later on.
The shadows were getting long and there were still no elk to be had when we headed to the lupines.
As I walked into the patch of flowers it was quickly apparent that a black bear had been there too. Flowers were knocked over and every couple of feet there were bear sized areas where all of the plants had been flattened as the bear sat on them.
I was glad the bear had walked through first, as I could follow its path and knock down a lot fewer flowers myself. I tried to create some decent images before I lost my light.
I silhouetted this lupine as the sun got low on the horizon.
I was optimistic as we headed for Day Lake hoping to capture some good sunset photos. It turns out, the light never really showed up, but quite a few mosquitoes did as I watched the sun dip below the horizon.
I made only a few images and sat down to enjoy the view as daylight slipped away.
Here I am watching the colors fade after a fun afternoon photographing elk with my dad.