A Sunday Drive To The Bottoms

Over the weekend D and I decided to take an unplanned Sunday drive. The sun was shining and the sky was blue so we loaded up the camera bags and headed off.

Our first stop on our afternoon out in the nice weather was Cheyenne Bottoms. Cheyenne Bottoms includes an area of 19,857 acres north east of Great Bend, Kansas. It is part of a 41,000 acre natural land sink, the state of Kansas acquired the land, and in the 1940’s and 1950’s dikes were constructed to contain the waters into five gigantic pools. This has created a very large, diverse, and unique marsh that is now home to numerous birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.

We drove a ways out into the bottoms and found a place to park, walked a ways, took a few shots, drove some more, repeat, repeat, repeat.  Mostly we were just getting a feel for what was there and plan to go back again soon. I think next time the plan will be to pack a lunch, toss in the folding chairs, and pick a spot to sit in for an hour or two and just see what kinds of birds head our way.

1/250 - f/10 - ISO 200 - 105mm - CPL Filter Attached
1/250 – f/10 – ISO 200 – 105mm – CPL Filter Attached

On this quick trip through the bottoms we managed to spot several ducks, geese, gulls, and what I think was a flock of pelican off in the distance. We saw a few blue heron, and even some red wing black birds and listened to a chorus of big ol’ bull frogs waking up from their winter nap.

The last thing we did on our visit to Cheyenne Bottoms was to climb the lookout tower; it was pretty windy up there! But what a great view of the countryside. Gonna have to get some shots from the top of that tower next time. On this trip I took a few landscape shots and little detail shots of the marsh; but maybe next time I’ll have a longer lens and capture a few of those birds.

1/250 - f/10 - ISO 200 - 93mm - CPL Filter Attached
1/250 – f/10 – ISO 200 – 93mm – CPL Filter Attached

After we made our way down from the tower, and a little further down the highway, there was a quick stop at the home of one of D’s sisters for a short visit with some of his family before our second [and last] photo op stop of the day….

More about our Sunday drive tomorrow!

To see more from Cheyenne Bottoms check out this gallery at KKHPhotos.com.

Click on the images above to see a larger view,
order prints, or download photos.


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