• Katey Ladika

The Furry Faces I Met Along the Way

“The message is simple: love and conserve our wildlife.” - Steve Irwin

There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t sit and marvel at the wildlife scurrying around me. A grey squirrel hunting for snacks or a bird perched peacefully on a nearby tree branch just seem to captivate my attention and keep me staring on.

Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to have my camera in hand when I come across one of these creatures. Sometimes, I go exploring with the determination to capture images of a specific breed or species. No matter the case, I always take a few moments to soak in the natural world that I have stepped into and observe the animals I hold so dear.

In August of 2020, I was fortunate enough to take a two week road trip across the US. I hope to detail my adventures out in a later blog post, but for now we are focusing on the furry faces I met along the way. From Maryland to North Dakota and back my boyfriend and I traveled stopping at places like Indiana Dunes State Park, the Badlands, and the Black Hills. While there I got to meet some pretty friendly animals and truly fell in love with the wildlife around me.

Buffalo, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and even reptiles from a roadside attraction acted as models for my animal portraiture. Because I was so incredibly proud of the wildlife photographs I took on this adventure in particular, I wanted to put together a little photo essay of my favorite images.

Check them out below!

A young buffalo roams the prairie at sunset.
Hang on Tight! This lizard holds on to a tree branch while warming himself in the sun.
The intimidating eyes of the Bald Eagle shine brightly and confidently.
What a great climber!
A ground squirrel poises for the camera in Sioux Falls, SD.
Say hello to this little guy and his beautiful colors!
Scales and Tales!
They may be cows, but they were equally fun to photograph!
The green scales of this lizard make a perfect color complement to the red foliage around him.
My personal favorite animal to photograph while exploring the west was the adorable prairie dog!


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