Over the years of photographing the birds, I’ve come to appreciate the rough terrain of the open country in the western Oklahoma panhandle where Lesser Prairie Chickens live.

Sue, who has become a good friend over the years, has a large flock of Lesser Prairie Chickens at her ranch.  That’s where I spent the next 5 days photographing Lesser Prairie Chickens – I hope to introduce more in my book about her passion and her efforts to save these birds.

Three years ago I ripped my (expensive) down jacket and my backpack strap while climbing over a stepladder.  I thought I had learned my lesson only to rip my (expensive) pants and cut myself once again.   It happened as I climbed over the stepladder and my foot slipped.  The barbwire punctured my pants and left me with a bloody 5 inch gap on my thigh.

So, each time I had to climb over a fence, I carefully placed my foot and tried to leave a plenty of space between the fence and myself.  It may sound easy (and it might have been) – if it wasn’t 5 a.m. in the pitch dark.

I also had an opportunity to see a so-called “green energy” wind farm in Woodward County. It was an incredible sight to see, but impact on the Lesser Prairie Chicken population has been devastating.  The area’s population of this species has been in rapid decline.