• Byron

Memories of Mountains


One Granite Boulder

A Memory of Mountains

Out on the Prairie


I love those photography moments when I suddenly see something that was always visible but may have gone un-noticed. The March 2022 home page captures one of those moments. This little mountain has its home on the restored prairie of the Pheasant Branch Conservancy. It only shows itself in the spring. Through the summer and fall it is hidden by the tall grasses and wild flowers and then in the winter, covered in snow. When the snow melts and the grasses are beaten down, it stands proudly above the prairie, unconcerned about its stature or its short time on center stage.


Rocks and other geology are some of my favorite subjects because they pull my eye across time as well as distance and that’s the case with this boulder. This chunk of granite isn’t native to Southern Wisconsin. It probably hitched a ride here about 10,000 years ago on the last glacier incursion, coming down from the formations along Lake Superior that include some of the oldest mountains out there dating back as far as 2.2 billion years. This rock isn’t quite that old, but it has been witness to some pretty dramatic changes in Wisconsin climate and ecology, flora and fauna. I think that experience shows, drawing me in not only to the moment late last spring, but into the long river history behind it.


On the gear-head side of photography, I used what is becoming one of my favorite “portrait” lens, Canon’s RF800mm. It’s not the fanciest lens in the Canon line up but delivers images with a painterly vibe that I’ve fallen in love with. This is supposedly hand holdable with the in-body-stabilization of the R5 camera body, but I find I have a hard time wrangling it and keeping it centered on my subjects so I almost always resort to a tripod when using it, both for crisper images and general ease of use (that’s mainly me, I do that with my 100-400mm as well).


I hope you enjoy some virtual mountain climbing with a bit of time travel thrown in from this little mountain in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy.


Canon R5, 800mm Lens. 1/4000 sec, F11, ISO 4000

WORDS