Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Let’s Get Wild!

Wild Phlox

This week the Rambling Ranger guest hosts the Lens-Artists Challenge here. Dianne Milliard, the Rambling Ranger, writes, “I don’t want to see groomed gardens or animals in the zoo. No people or signs of people. I want to see and revel in the natural world in your posts. Where’s the wildest place you’ve ever been? Where do you go to let Mother Nature regenerate your spirit? Please share with us the wild places, plants and beings that are close to YOUR heart!”

From that introduction, I immediately thought of Orchard Glen, a park that is but a 15-minute drive from our home in Fargo. I discovered this park during the 2020 Pandemic Spring and I watched it regenerate after the long winter to a small oasis of wild in an agricultural region where nature occurs only under the husbandry of farmers and ranchers. The wild phlox in the photo above are plentiful along the trails in this small park.

TR National Park-15
Painted Canyon View

On the opposite end of my state near Medora, North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, despite the term “park” is wild with natural beauty and teeming with wildlife. Though the viewpoint from the overlook at the Painted Canyon Rest Area on I-94 appears to be devoid of wildlife, you can rest assured there are plenty of opportunities to see the American Bison, wild horses, even prairie dog “towns” in the park.

Wild Horse Family
A family of wild horses

Wild horses are plentiful in the park. Thanks to the 16-300 mm lens I use as my “walk-around” lens, at 270 mm (405 mm full-frame equivalent), it appears they were posing for a photo but a few feet from me.

Fort Peck Lake Storm-1
Storm over the lake

Near the town of Fort Peck, Montana, the weather was getting wild as it moved across the nearby Fort Peck Lake. This image was created with my cell phone. It is actually a panoramic view created by merging two images in Lightroom.

Glacier Bay
Glacial flow in Glacier Bay Alaska

Unlike the photo challenge host this week who lives in the great state of Alaska, I have only been there once, visiting only a few cities as ports of call on a cruise. The most unique and wild place we “visited” is Glacier Bay National Park, accessible only by boat or ship.

Wild sunset in Buckeye Arizona

Near our winter home in Buckeye, Arizona, a small section of desert routinely presents us with wild and unique cloud patterns. I often find myself there around sunset. Arizona is scientifically proven to have unusually colorful and interesting sunsets (so says the tourist bureau anyway.)

Monument Mittens
The Mittens and Merrick’s Butte in Monument Valley, Navajo Nation

For my final selection, I present another panoramic view created some years ago with my first DSLR, a Nikon D5100 with the 18-55 MM kit lens. This image was tweaked in Adobe Lightroom then exported to Nik’s Silver Efex 2 for conversion to sepia-toned monochrome.

Flickr brings you to the album that features all of the selections for this week’s challenge without my having to create a specific gallery section in my post. Check it out. Click on any image and then use the arrows at the left and right of the image to scroll through the entire gallery.

John Steiner


  1. Some very beautiful wild places John – especially loved those that portrayed what I think of as the “wild west” – the horses, your sepia panorama, and the glorious sunset. It’s a beautiful part of the world!

    • Thank you, Tina! Your comment about the wild west reminded me of a trip some 30+ years ago. We had just moved to Fargo and being west of the Mississippi, we still considered ourselves as westerners.
      We wandered into a bar in western Montana and ordered a couple of beers. Bartender asked where we were from.
      Upon our response of “Fargo”, the bartender’s terse comment was, “Easterners, eh!” 🙂

  2. I love that view of Painted Canyon and the Buckeye sunset, but it’s Glacier Bay that has the strongest pull for me. I would love to visit Alaska!

  3. These are wild and beautiful selections, John! Glacial flow in Glacier is incredible. The sunset from your winter home is awesome.

  4. Loved your post, John. Interesting how the pandemic made a lot of us look closer at places we would otherwise overlook to get our nature fix! My favorite, though, is your Arizona sky. Arizona DOES have especially spectacular sunsets, doesn’t it? I know that some of the gaudiest sunsets I’ve ever photographed come from there!

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